Weekly Winner: Perfectly Peas-y Pantry Purge Pasta

20140615-112316-40996670.jpgOK, enough alliteration, but some are just too obvious to ignore.  So Friday came around and it was time for our Friday night pasta dinner.  The only problem?  I’d been busy and hadn’t made it to the grocery store.  Time to start digging around the fridge and pantry and see what was there and what kind of recipe I had that either needed testing or that matched the ingredients I had on hand.  As it turned out — I found a recipe that met both requirements!  Bonus!  I had to make two tweaks — first, I didn’t have quite enough pine nuts but I dearly love walnuts so simply added some of those, and I think for the first time in about a year, I did not have a lemon anywhere to be found in the house.  I substituted a splash of champagne vinegar but think the lemon zest would have been fabulous in it.

The recipe is for Ricotta and Pea Pasta and it comes from Sunset Magazine.  It was fabulously fresh tasting but just a bit decadent thanks to the ricotta.  This will be a definite hit for any pea-lover out there.  I know a few and I bet you do too!

Ricotta and Pea Pasta

Serves 4


1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. kosher salt

1 lb tube pasta, such as ziti

1 garlic clove

1/3 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley

2-1/2 cups thawed frozen peas, divided

15 oz (1-1/2 cups) ricotta cheese

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3/4 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup finely shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water with 1 Tbsp salt to a boil.  Add pasta and boil until tender, 7 to 9 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, whirl garlic and parsley in a food processor until finely chopped.  Add 1-1/2 cups peas, the ricotta, lemon juice and zest, 4 Tbsp oil, remaining 2 tsp salt, and the pepper.  Pulse to a coarse puree.
  3. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water.  Drain pasta and return to pot.  Immediately add ricotta-pea puree and remaining 1 cup peas and stir until well mixed.  Add a little pasta cooking water, if necessary, to loosen sauce
  4. Divide among 4 bowls.  Sprinkle each with pine nuts and parmigiano, and drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp oil.


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