Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bowties with Sugar Snaps, Lemon and Ricotta

We know it's hard to stop eating sugar snaps raw, but if any of them make it home, they will shine in this quick, delicious summer pasta.  If you have the time or inspiration to make your own ricotta (very easy and very worthwhile, recipe and instructions here), even better!


Serves 4 to 6 as a main course, up to 8 as a first coursesalt for pasta water
1 pound sugar snaps
1 pound dried pasta bowties
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) finely grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
olive oil
coarse or fine sea salt for sprinkling
ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
a few leaves of fresh mint, slivered
1 cup ricotta; use fresh if you can find or have motivation to make it

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil. While waiting, string sugar snaps and cut into 1/2-inch segments. Cook bowties for two minutes less than the suggested cooking time on the package, then add sugar snaps to pasta. Cook for one minute more. Reserve one cup pasta cooking water, then drain sugar snaps and bowties. Add them back to the empty pot with 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, grated cheese, a glug of olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook on high for one minute, tossing constantly. Add a splash more cooking water if pasta looks too dry. Turn heat off, dollop ricotta all over in large spoonfuls and, without stirring, tip pasta mixture into a wide serving bowl. (Deb does this because she enjoys finding slightly unmixed pockets of ricotta; feel free to stir if you'd prefer.) Drizzle pasta with a small amount of olive oil, then squeeze lemon juice over the whole dish, sprinkle with mint, and finish with an extra sprinkling of parmesan. Serve quickly; eat happily.

(Lemon juice unfortunately discolors green vegetables, so be sure to add this right before serving, when it will be eaten before anyone will care.)

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