strozzapreti primavera – peas, fava beans & dandelion buds

cooking is my language. it’s what i know and what my spare time evolves around. so, i think it’s only right to share some of my kitchen wisdom with you… 
i started to experiment in the kitchen only a few years ago, since as a child it (sadly) didn’t interest me that much. of course, i regret not having started to discover cooking earlier. there is so much more to learn! cooking is an art that can be perfected through the course of the life. they say that the skill peaks at the age of about 50, that until then you keep getting better and better…
so of course you learn a lot of things and you get to eat really delicious (and sometimes also not so good…) food while you’re practicing your chef’s skills… but what’s just as good as the obvious physical, (ful-)filling aspect is the influence it has on your thoughts and your mental life in general. whenever i cook, i find myself relaxing, unwinding and letting go of things. whatever was unclear to me – cooking gives me the room to reflect upon it. and quite often – through the intense concentration – stress falls off me more easily thanks to it. i owe a lot of mental strength to my devotion to all things kitchen related (chuckle, that does sound like a really fancy butter ad…). so i keep on doing what i’m doing – not just for the sake of yummy pasta and pretty cupcakes, but for the sake of my inner peace. keep on doing what’s good to you, even if you sometimes don’t feel like it. and even if at times it doesn’t make sense to you. continue. and you’ll find your inner peace.
strozzapreti primavera – peas, fava beans & dandelion buds
serves 2

500 g pasta (i used strozzapreti)
1 cup fresh (or frozen) peas, quickly blanched
1 cup fresh fava beans (make sure to peel it twice if you use fresh ones), quickly blanched
1/2 cup dandelion buds
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup of the cooking water
1/4 lemon (flesh and rind) of a preserved lemon, finely chopped
1/2 fresh lemon, juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. fleur de sel
optional: some grated parmigiano to garnish
cook the pasta according to directions in salted water. save one cup of the cooking water to add to the vegs. heat the olive oil in a large skillet and sweat the shallot and garlic for 2 minutes. add the dandelion buds and fry for a couple minutes. add the peas, fava beans, cooking water and preserved lemons. simmer until the vegs are heated through and some of the excess liquid is reduced. season with fleur de sel and lemon juice. drain the pasta and combine with the vegs. garnish with some freshly grated parmigiano. 
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