Recipe: Spring Cianfotta with Sugar Snap Peas

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If you’ve been to farmers market lately, no doubt you’ve seen sugar snap peas.  They’re the edible pod variety that are so plump and crisp right now.  The LA Times’ Russ Parsons was in our studio earlier this week and we got to talking about these peas and all the different uses for them.  I like to use them in a cianfotta, an Italian saute.  The recipe follows…

Spring Cianfotta
Serves 3-4

1/2 cup olive oil
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 stalk green garlic (or 2 garlic cloves), peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 bunch thin asparagus, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, stem end and string removed; pods sliced vertically to expose peas
15 spearmint leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper

1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the leeks and cook over medium-high heat until soft. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
2. Turn the heat to high and add the asparagus, sugar snap peas and spearmint. Cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, until slightly softer than al dente, about 7 to 10 minutes; longer for softer vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and serve.