Pasta with Crushed Peas & Ricotta

pasta with ricotta and crushed peas

Pasta with Crushed Peas & Ricotta

from 5 ingredients 10 minutes page 132

I love ricotta. It’s such a versatile cheese. From dessert to snacks to main courses, there are few things that don’t benefit from a little added creamy cheesiness. One of my all time favourite sauces is to stir ricotta with a little chopped parsley through hot pasta. This dish is more of a one bowl meal with the peas and mint adding the green factor.

The method on this is a bit fiddly because I wanted to crush the peas, but if you’d prefer to keep it simple just pop the peas in with the pasta together and skip the crushing step.

enough for: 2
takes: 10 minutes

150g (5oz) short pasta
200g (7oz) frozen peas
1 bunch mint, leaves picked
100g (3 1/2oz) ricotta
2 handfuls grated parmesan cheese

1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add pasta and set timer for the cooking time stated on the packet.

2. When there are 3 minutes to go, add peas.

3. When the timer is up, reserve some cooking water in a cup. Drain.

4. Return the pan to the heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add pasta, peas and mint.

5. Stir in ricotta, adding a little of the cooking water if it seems too dry.

6. Taste, season and serve with parmesan.

Variations

vegan – replace ricotta and parmesan with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. You might want to double the peas to make it more substantial.

carnivore – pan fry some bacon or chorizo and toss in at the end.

gluten-free – replace drained pasta with cooked or canned beans or lentils.

paleo – replace pasta with roast cauliflower. Replace ricotta and parmsean with olive oil and extra peas.

vary herbs – peas and mint are a classic combo but basil would make a wonderful change.

loose the pasta – chop up 1/2 head cauliflower into florettes and use in place of the pasta or replace pasta with a can of drained cannellini or butter beans.

change the veg – toss through ripe halved cherry tomatoes or wilted baby spinach instead of the peas.

increase the cheese – serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

carb lovers / more substantial – serve with garlic bread or add extra pasta.

low carb – serve peas and ricotta with pan fried chicken or fish.

Problem Solving Guide

too dry? – drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.

peas or pasta over/undercooked – it can be tricky to get the timing right. If you’re nervous about that boil 2 separate pots and cook the pasta and peas separately. If in doubt, make sure the pasta is cooked, the peas will be fine if they’re a little over cooked but undercooked pasta is no fun for anyone.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

short pasta – keep in the pantry.

frozen peas – keep in the freezer.

mint – best to use for another meal. leaves can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted so not ideal. Alternatively make a mint oil by packing washed and dried leaves in a clean dry glass jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil use mint oil to serve with lamb, chicken or fish.

ricotta – unopened ricotta in a tub usually has a shelf life of a few weeks. Can be frozen.

parmesan – will keep in a plastic bag or airtight container in the fridge for months. Can be frozen.

Serving Suggestions

Serve warm as a meal on it’s own.

Pair it with a classic green salad.

Leftover Potential

OK. Gently reheat in a saucepan for a few minutes.>

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