Monday, August 10, 2009

Orrechiette with Caramelized Onions, Sugar Snap Peas, and Ricotta Cheese

This is from We made it last night for supper. It was fine, but I think that it would be a lot better with the addition of pancetta and parmesean cheese. I'm cutting the olive oil by half and adding pancetta. If you don't have pancetta, use 2 tbl olive oil and some good flavored ham. I think that you could certainly substitute frozen peas for the fresh (cook them less) and skim milk ricotta for the whole-milk.

4 servings

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-1/2 inch thick slices of pancetta, cubed
2 cups (packed) chopped onions
1 8-ounce package trimmed sugar snap peas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 8-ounce package orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta) or pasta shells
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup parmesean cheese, grated

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook until fat is rendered and pancetta is browned. Remove pancetta and reserve. Add onions. Sauté until onions are pale golden, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; sauté onions until tender and deep golden, about 15 minutes longer. Return pancetta to pan. Add peas to onions in skillet. Sauté until peas are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

Add pasta and 1/2 cup cooking liquid to onion mixture; stir over medium-high heat 30 seconds. Mix in ricotta, basil,parmesean, and lemon peel, adding more cooking liquid to moisten as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

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