I can't remember when I first discovered the combination of fresh peas, lots of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and toasted pine nuts. But I definitely have to credit my youngest sister with my obsession. She would mix the three ingredients together, often when leftover from dinner preparations, and eat them out of a big bowl with a spoon. The sweet peas with the creamy pine nuts, paired with the salty feathers of grated cheese? Heavenly.
While it took me a couple of years of simply enjoying the combination until I began to crave it come spring, I’m now a convert. However, my favorite combination has two added ingredients — fresh basil pesto and sometimes, cooked pasta — taking this from a post-school or work snack to nearly a complete meal.
I love to make a big batch of this pasta salad on the weekends to have for a nutritious dinner during the week. It's also a great dish to make and pack for a summer picnic. I find the flavors are best when I use fresh spring peas and basil from the farmers market.