300g shortcrust pastry
2 cups (500ml) cream
1 cup (250ml) milk
120g parmesan, finely grated
5 egg yolks
pinch of smoked paprika
6 asparagus spears
1 cup (120g) fresh or frozen peas
pea shoots, shaved parmesan and lemon zest, to garnish
lemon juice, verjuice or balsamic vinegar, to drizzle

I can never grow enough peas for our household – we literally eat kilos of them. The thought of surrendering that much space in my garden to be self-sufficient in peas seems a bit much when frozen peas are actually good value. I do grow some along the edges of my planter boxes, so that they tumble down the sides (rather than up little trellises). When I do grow peas and snow peas I like to use them in recipes that really hero them as ‘fresh from the garden stars’, rather than just being a side dish.


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1.Preheat the oven to 180°C fan-forced.
2.Roll the pastry out to about 5mm thickness.
3.Cut 6 discs from the pastry and use to line 6 individual pie or tart dishes, 10–12cm across the top and about 2cm deep.
4.Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes (longer is fine).
5.Place dishes onto a large baking tray.
6.Place a square of baking paper in each pastry case and fill with baking weights.
7.Bake for 10 minutes then remove weights and paper and cook a further 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Set aside. Reduce oven to 150°C.
8.Mix the cream, milk and grated parmesan in a heatproof bowl.
9.Place it on a pan of simmering water to heat gently until the parmesan melts into the cream and milk (do not let it boil).
10.Remove bowl from the heat and set aside to cool.
11.Whisk in the egg yolks with the smoked paprika and season with a little salt and pepper.
12.Pour the mixture into the cooled pastry cases.
13.Bake for 12–15 minutes, until just set but still slightly wobbly. Set aside to cool.
14.Slice the asparagus spears thinly lengthwise.
15.Briefly blanch in boiling water for a moment and then refresh in iced water. Drain and lightly shake dry.
16.Blanch and refresh the peas. Arrange asparagus and peas onto tarts, and garnish with pea shoots, shaved parmesan and lemon zest.
17.Drizzle lightly with lemon juice, verjuice or balsamic vinegar.

This is an edited
extract from Nostrana
by Bri DiMattina,
published by
Harper Collins,
photography by
Lottie Hedley, $55.