Purple Pea Pesto Pasta and Poaching

by Pamela

Purple Pea Pesto Pasta

Purple Pea Pesto Pasta with Poached Quail Egg

Here’s hoping that this week is a better week. (cue clinking glasses)  Last week wasn’t a complete disaster but let’s just say my mood was less than pleasant.  Moving on….

When I was at the grocery store, I ran across purple snow peas.  Really, they’re purple (see thumbnail picture).  Since purple is my favorite color and I had never seen them before I, of course, bought them.  The entire drive home I was trying to decide what to make with them.  I couldn’t possibly just toss them into a salad (although that would be really pretty) and I didn’t want to just stir fry them…no, these little purple pods needed to be the highlight of the dish.

I decided that making them into a pesto would be the perfect thing to do for Spring.  But now what kind of pasta to put them over?  (This is where my purple snow pea exuberance kind of falls apart) Since my week was already in twist, why not try out my new pasta roller equipment?  Nothing makes your day go better than trying out something new when you’re in a foul mood.  We’ll just say that in the end the pasta came out pretty good, but only after I shouted numerous 4 letter words at my equipment before realizing that it would probably work as intended if I didn’t have the pasta roller inserted upside down.

The filling for the pasta was another party inducing moment.  While floating around in my endorphin filled cloud at the store, induced by finding the lovely purple peas, I picked up a carton of quail eggs.  (I have never bought quail eggs before.) These, I decided, must go into the filling as well.  But because they are so ‘special’ they could not be blended in.  No, these little gems were going to sit nestled inside of a seasoned ricotta cheese blanket and would be poached inside the pasta.  I learned that their shells are harder than chicken eggs (so crack them then gently and pick away the shell and pour them out) and there’s a lot more contained in that little shell than you would think.  I had a couple of them overflow their cheesy banks.

Don’t be surprised if you get some strange looks when serving this.  Craig expected the ‘purple stuff’ to be some kind of sweet blueberry spread.  He also thought that I had completely lost my mind by serving him blueberries with his pasta.  Trust me, when I officially lose my mind it’s going to be a lot worse than serving blueberries with pasta.

Relationship Advice

When you’ve had a bad day because you’re boss yelled at you, someone rear ended your car or your dry cleaner ruined your favorite shirt don’t take it out on your significant other.  It’s really easy to do, because they’re right there…and unlike the dry cleaner they probably won’t call the police to have you escorted out of the building for getting a little too excited about your shirt.  Do let them know, in advance, that you’ve had a really bad day.  You may or may not want to talk about it and either way is fine just communicate that to your partner so that they know what they can do…or what they shouldn’t do.

Serves 2


  • 12 3″ – 4″ Pasta Rounds From Fresh Pasta (could also use purchased won ton skins)*

For Pesto Recipe

  • 1 Cup Trimmed Purple Snow Peas (could use green snow peas)
  • 1/4 Cup Walnut Pieces
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 3/4 – 1 Cup Good Olive Oil

For Quail Egg and Cheese Filling Recipe

  • 6 Quail Eggs
  • 1 Chicken Egg (beaten)
  • 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 4 Stems Fresh Thyme (leaves removed and stems discarded)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Directions Place purple snow peas, walnut pieces, garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper into the bowl of a  food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Process for 15 – 30 seconds.  While the processor is running, slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube.  Continue processing until mixture is pureed. In mixing bowl add cheese, lemon zest and thyme leaves.  Stir to thoroughly combine ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste. Fill a large, 2″ – 3″ deep saute pan with water and heat to lightly boiling. Brush the edges of each pasta round with some of the beaten egg (I use my index finger.) Lay out your pasta rounds on a clean smooth surface.  Add 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture to the center of 6 of the pasta rounds.  Make a small well in the center of each of cheese mounds. Add 1 quail egg to to each well (you may not be able to use all of the white of the egg without it overflowing). Take an empty pasta circle and gently lay it on top of a filled pasta circle.  Start with the edge nearest to you begin sealing ravioli.  Gently work out any air that might be between the layers.  Push down edges of pasta then crimp edges with a fork to help seal them. Continue doing this with the rest of the pasta circles. Add 3 ravioli’s to the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from water and cook remaining batch. Top with pesto and serve. *I used the Kitchenaid Basic Egg Pasta Recipe for my dough and rolled it to setting #7,

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Caveman Cooking April 17, 2010 at 2:14 am

Oh, my little Cavegirl will love this, Pam! She made us paint her new room totally purple … enough said?!? 😉

Sasha April 14, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Looks awesome. How I love purple food!

penny aka jeroxie April 13, 2010 at 5:43 am

YUM! I saw this on tele the other and knew I have to make it soon. It looks so good.

Pamela April 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Trix & Denise Yeah, I had never seen them before either…so I had to pick them up. I think they taste a bit earthier than their green cousins.

Penny, I hadn’t seen this done before. Are purple peas readily available in Oz?

denise @ quickies on the dinner table April 13, 2010 at 4:49 am

How intriguing! I’ve never heard of or seen purple peas before. Purple carrots, purple cauliflower, purple potatoes, but not purple peas!!

Trix April 12, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Cool! I’ve had purple potatoes, but not purple peas. You gotta love crazy hybrids.

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