Saturday, August 8, 2015

Garden Pasta with Lemon Ricotta

This is just a lovely little pasta dish.  There are lots of fresh veggies, bright flavors, and a creamy dollop of lemony ricotta.  What's not to like?

I think I am obsessed with sugar snap peas.  They're just great in everything, including just as snacks. Also, my aunt Tracy apparently loved radishes as snacks.  This is why this dish was the perfect thing for me to make when she came to visit!

And let's talk about the lemon ricotta.  It takes ingredients that are nothing special - lemon zest and ricotta cheese - and somehow combines them into the brightest, freshest, creamiest topping you could put on a pasta dish!  Do not skip it!


garden pasta with lemon ricotta
from the July/August 2015 issue of Food Network Magazine

kosher salt
12 ounces gemelli pasta
2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
freshly ground pepper
6 radishes, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
2/3 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, chives, and/or basil)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest


1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook as the label directs, adding the snap peas during the last 2 minutes.  Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and peas.

2) Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper.  Cook until the garlic is softened, about 1 minute.  Add the radishes and bell pepper ; cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add half of the reserved pasta cooking water and and cook until vegetables are tender, 2 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

3) Add the pasta and snap peas to the skillet along with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, the parmesan, and all but a few tablespoons of the herbs.  Toss to coat, adding enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to loosen/  Season with salt and pepper.

4) Combine the ricotta, 1 tablespoon water, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a bowl.  Top each serving with the lemon ricotta and the remaining herbs.

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