lately the weather up here in portland (maine) has been sort of unpredictable. a few weeks ago, it was warm (well, relatively) and sunny. then we got 18” of snow. now it’s just warm enough for the precipitation to be rain, rather than snow, but still chilly. in other words, perfect weather for stuffed shells with peas and burrata.
besides the obvious (that would be the burrata, please and thank you), one of the things i like best about this baked pasta is how effortlessly it straddles this in-between season that we’re in (for the next 5 minutes for those of you south of the mason-dixon line and for the next 5 – 10 weeks for those of us a little farther north).
on the one hand, this casserole is a baked pasta, which means we turned the oven on, which means it’s a warm and cozy dish. but wait! peas! there are lots of green peas, which always mean “spring” to me, so this is a spring dish, right? well, yes, but it’s also hearty and comforting, because of all of the (delicious, delicious) cheese.
soooo, yeah. this guy is happy to straddle the ever-shifting and always confounding “line” between winter and spring (which in my experience has always been more of a protracted exercise in bringing ALL of the layers and ALL of the bags to shove the layers into than an actual line. oh! and an umbrella. definitely bring an umbrella. preferably a better one than what i dug out of the seat back in the car earlier yesterday when i decided “drowned rat” wasn’t really the look i was going for while running errands… in my sleeping bag coat, because did i mention it’s juuuuust warm enough to rain instead of snow?)
as part of his willingness to toggle back and forth between winter and spring, these stuffed shells with peas and burrata are equally happy with frozen peas or those glorious fresh peas that will be popping up for a few blissful weeks later, when the line is more between spring and summer than spring and winter.
i made this recipe with frozen peas because a) did i mention the snow on the ground and b) if i’m being honest, i’m probably not going to put peas that i shelled by hand (which is kind of fun and definitely time consuming) into the oven. those are going to cook for a max of 1 minute before being tossed with something yummy and light, just as soon as i can get my hands on their little green pods.
but in the meantime, i will be enjoying these stuffed shells with (frozen) peas and burrata and trying not to think too much about why our front yard has half the snow of every other yard on the street. i’m sure it’s fine…
ps – this asparagus ricotta pasta is a yummy way to use up that last bit of ricotta cheese that you’ll have leftover from these stuffed shells.