Anatomy of a Summer Sunday Dinner

Drop off daughter at camp in Western Mass; settle in for 3-hour drive home.
4:15 Realize the kitchen waiting for us is basically cobwebs. We have no fresh food except possibly half a red onion.
4:17 Pull over at first farm stand we drive by (I see you Pioneer Valley!); pick up 3 ears corn, a bag of sugar snap peas; some strawberries and blueberries. Berries are perfect; snap pea shells are disappointingly woody, but peas inside are candy-sweet.
5:00 No evidence of strawberries and blueberries remains.
7:00 Home. Fix two gin and tonics. Is there anything better after a day on the road?
7:10 Boil water for shells. While it boils, sautée onions, corn, shucked peas and a small hunk of bacon from the freezer. Jackpot! Pecorino in the fridge, basil in the garden. Toss everything together; appreciate daughter’s suggestion for shells, which happily catch all the bite-size vegetables like little pouches.
7:30 Dinner

Shells with Peas, Corn, Bacon, and Pecorino
Serves 4

1 pound pasta shells
1 tablespoon butter
1 piece good-quality bacon (we used Bentons; omit if you’d like this to be vegetarian)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
1 cup fresh green peas (frozen work if you don’t feel like shucking and shelling)
2 large ears corn with kernels cut off
½ cup shredded pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
4-5 leaves basil, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with butter. 

In the same pot, add bacon and olive oil one to two minutes, until fat has rendered. Remove bacon, chop into pieces and set aside. Add onions and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.

Add peas and corn and saute until cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Add pasta back to the pot with the vegetables, Pecorino, basil, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. 

Serve topped with more pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is 14 + 12 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)


Rebecca Burstein

I’m from the Pioneer Valley and also just sent my kids to camp in the Berkshires. I guess this dinner has to be made to keep the streak alive!


Bravo for actually cooking after a long drive to drop-off at camp. This is my favorite type of summer dinner.


Sounds delicious, and I agree that this would be great as a cold salad the next day, assuming there would be any leftovers!


Jenny, this was so good. We just moved and I needed an easy dinner, but something that felt like summer and home. Thank you!