Perfect Spring Pasta (w/ Ricotta, Mint, Artichokes & Peas)

Last night the plan was to make orecchiette with sausage. But then I looked at how much orecchiette we had, and: no. And then I got to thinking about the exact date when I took the sausage out of the freezer, and: long enough ago that I no longer feel fantastic about eating it. Of course, these discoveries were made around 8PM, meaning that the evening was headed in the direction of a) pizza or b) cereal. Ehhh.

But then I did a little scouting in the freezer, and came up with some vegetables that I’d bought to go into a risotto. And then I looked in the refrigerator, and there was the mint that had been intended for the risotto, along with some ricotta leftover from making these the other night (for our mini-dinner party with Stephen, Dave & Francesca). Oh, and I found some more pasta. It was just a couple of handfuls of dry rotini, but mixing pasta shapes is A-OK by me.

So: dinner ended up being pasta that tasted like spring in a basket.


What you need:

1 package dried pasta of choice

1 package frozen peas*

1 package frozen artichoke hearts*

1/2 cup fresh ricotta (best quality)

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

A few mint leaves, chopped (reserve a leaf or two for garnish)

Lemon juice

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

What you do:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. While pasta cooks, either steam or microwave your peas and artichoke hearts according to package directions.

3. In a small saucepan, saute the onion in a little olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and saute another minute or so, being careful not to let it burn.

4. When the pasta is done, drain it (leave a little pasta water in the pot) and toss in the vegetables (including the onion/garlic). Add a little more olive oil and a couple of squeezes of lemon juice, then fold in the ricotta and mint.

5. Season with salt and pepper (I added quite a lot of salt), and serve garnished with a mint leaf.

*Obviously market-fresh stuff would take this to the next level; use that if you have it handy.

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