Celebrate the Arrival of Spring – Sort Of
May 6th and it’s 40°! So unseasonable, but it is Wisconsin! How I look forward to spring and its vegetables – asparagus, sugar snap peas, spinach, early lettuces… A wonderful farewell to winter! This dish is a must to try. Creamy sauce, crunchy sugar snap peas, a hint of leek and fresh lemon zest! Don’t let the ricotta cheese scare you away. Use the low-fat version which has 171 calories in a half cup; that’s only 43 in a serving. Plus ricotta is a good source of calcium, protein, vitamin A, and potassium. The original recipe was found in Martha Stewart Living, but I tweaked it a little by substituting olive oil for butter and low fat cheese for regular ricotta.
Pappardelle with Leeks, Sugar Snap Peas, and Lemon
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half
3/4 pound dried pappardelle or flat egg noodles
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
3/4 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano cheese, grated
- Trim dark green parts from the leeks. Cut them in half, the long way. Run water between the layers to clean well. Then, slice them in thin half-moons.
- While bringing a large pot of salted water to boil, sauté leeks in the olive oil with a pinch of salt, until leeks begin to soften, about 5 – 9 minutes. Turn off heat and finely grate the zest of both lemons into the skillet. Season with pepper.
- When water boils, add peas and cook until bright green, about two minutes. Remove peas with a strainer to a plate.
- Add pasta to water and cook, following package directions. Transfer pasta to skillet, using the strainer, and add the peas. Gradually stir in 1 cup of pasta water, 1/2 cup at a time. Alternate the ricotta and half the pecorino with the water. Toss until the pasta is coated and the sauce is creamy. (I did this on the burner with low heat) Serve with the remaining grated cheese. Yum!
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