Ricotta Pasta with Grape Tomatoes, Peas, and Basil
- 1 pound penne or ziti rigate
- Coarse salt
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese (a couple of handfuls)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) (twice around the pan)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- A generous handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Coarse black pepper
- 20 fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes (1/2 pint)
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 22mins
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta anc salt the water. Cook the pasta al dente, with a bite to it
Place the ricotta, butter, and Parmigiano or Romano in a large bowl.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the EVOC and onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the peas and parsley and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Drain the pasta. Add to the bowl with the cheeses. Toss to melt the butter and evenly coat the pasta with cheeses, then season with salt and pepper. Top the pasta with the peas, basil, and halved grape tomatoes. Season with a little salt. Toss and serve at the table.
NOW TRY... Ricotta Pasta with Sausage
1 pound bulk Italian sweet sausage
Prepare as for the master recipe, browning the sausage in the EVOO before adding the onions. Continue as directed, sprinkling the pasta with the shredded basil.
THEN TRY...Ricotta Pasta with Zucchini, Garlic, and Mint
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
A generous handful of fresh mint leaves, slivered
Prepare as for the master recipe, #192, adding the garlic and zucchini to the skillet with the onions and cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the mint with the parsley.
Continue as directed, tossing the pasta with the onions and zucchini.
OR TRY... Ricotta Pasta with Tomatoes al Porno
1/2 cup additional Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Prepare as for the master recipe, sauteeing the garlic with the onions until soft, 8 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and parsley and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
Preheat the broiler to high and place the top rack 6 to 8 inches from the broiler.
Drain the pasta. Add it to the bowl with the cheeses. Toss to melt the butter and evenly coat the pasta with cheeses, then season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato sauce and the basil and toss again to combine. Transfer the mixture to a baking casserole, then evenly distribute the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmigiano cheese and the slices of fresh mozzarella over the top. Place under the broiler and crisp up the top and edges of the pasta, melting and browning the cheeses evenly.
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