Green Peas, Mint, & Ricotta Pasta

Fregola from epi
This dish, from Bon Appetit back in April, looked so pretty, I couldn’t wait to try it. I have to say, it cooked up looking quite a bit less brothy than this image shows, but it was simple and delicious, and has ingredients I almost always have on hand. These are the type of dishes I like to keep in my pocket, so I can pull them together whenever I need. I also loved the little bit of mint in this dish. So bright & springy, as well as great to use a little more mint from my garden.

Green Peas, Mint & Ricotta Pasta

  • 1 1/4 c. fregola, or other short pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 T. olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 oz. bacon (about 3 slices), chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. shelled fresh peas (from about 1 pound pods) or frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 T. chopped fresh mint, plus leaves for serving
  • 4 oz. ricotta

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, 6–8 minutes. Drain pasta (do not rinse), reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium and cook bacon, stirring often, until bacon is brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until skillet is almost dry, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add fregola and cook, stirring often, until pasta is just al dente and broth is thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add peas and chopped mint and cook, stirring, until peas are warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add pasta cooking liquid as needed to adjust consistency.

Serve topped with ricotta, mint, and cracked pepper and drizzled with oil.

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Easy Butternut Squash Pasta

Butternut Squash pasta
Sometimes peeling a butternut squash and roasting it before using it just seems like too much, so I liked this recipe. I had never grated a butternut squash, but it was super easy and I really liked this meal. I’ll definitely make it many times in the future! This recipe comes from Bon Appetit.

Easy Butternut Squash Pasta

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 5 c. shredded butternut squash (from about 1/2 peeled medium squash; shredded with the coarse grating attachment on a food processor or on a box grater)
  • 1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh sage
  • 1 lb. short curled pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add squash and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash begins to brown, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta and 1/2 c. pasta cooking liquid to squash and stir to coat. Cook over medium heat, stirring, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Stir in 1/2 c. Parmesan. Divide pasta among bowls; top with more Parmesan.

Spaghetti alla Primavera

Spaghetti PrimaveraI turned to this recipe because I had several vegetables on hand and wanted to get dinner on the table rather quickly, and not only was it quick, but so delicious. A great way to use many summer veggies. I also tried it with substituting different vegetables than it called for, and had fun just cutting up and using what we had. Sauteing the garlic and the tomatoes and basil together was a great finishing touch. Delicious! Taken from Saveur

Spaghetti alla Primavera

6 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz. button mushrooms, quartered
1 c. asparagus tips, blanched
1 c. small broccoli florets, blanched
½ c. frozen peas, blanched
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, cut to 1″ lengths, blanched
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked al dente
1 c. heavy cream
⅔ c. grated Parmesan
2 T. unsalted butter
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
2 T. thinly shredded basil
½ c. lightly toasted pine nuts

1. Heat 5 T. oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add ⅔ of the garlic; cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus, broccoli, peas, and zucchini; cook 3 minutes. Add pasta, cream, Parmesan, and butter, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine; transfer to a platter.
2. Bring remaining oil and garlic, tomatoes, and basil to a simmer over medium heat; pour over pasta; garnish with nuts.

Creamy Carbonara

Creamy CarbonaraI love this recipe, and I always think that I have already posted this recipe, but no! This is one of my favorite go-to recipes when I haven’t gotten to the grocery store or at the end of the month when funds are low. It’s such a delicious recipe–the eggs become creamy, and the sauce is mildly garlicky, but not enough to turn off my kids. My kids fight over the bacon, so I usually double the amount that the recipe calls for. This really is a great, quick dinner. It comes from the The Best of  America’s Test Kitchen 2007 Annual.

Creamy Carbonara

serves 4-6

1 lb. dry spaghetti
3 fresh large eggs
8 oz. thick-cut bacon, cubed (I usually double the amount)
1 c. freshly grated Pecorino
2 T. heavy cream
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. pepper
1/2 c. dry white wine
Sea salt

1. Bring about 4 quarts of generously salted water to a boil. Whisk the eggs, Pecorino Romano, and cream together in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl with a slotted spoon. Pour off all but 2 T. of the bacon fat. Add the garlic and pepper to the skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk the garlic mixture in to the egg mixture.

3. Add the wine to the skillet and simmer over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove browned bits, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk the wine mixture into the egg mixture.

4. Meanwhile, add the salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Immediately pour the egg mixture over the pasta and toss to combine with 1/2 c. of the reserved cooking water. Add the bacon and thin the sauce with the remaining cooking water as necessary. Serve immediately.

Note: Curdled eggs will ruin this dish. To prevent this from happening, be sure to whisk constantly when adding the hot ingredients to the egg mixture.