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ricotta cheese pasta peas rachael ray

I started out with a goal this year. I wanted to completely change the way I cooked for my family, so I set myself a goal. I was going to identify 15 winning recipes that I wanted to repeat and make over and over again. I was looking for some new tried and trues.

Reading recipes is my hobby. I am up pouring over new recipes I find in the middle of the night, every night, like a crazy habit, from a crazy, sleep deprived woman! I take my trusty I pad to bed with me, and with the light shining from my screen, browse recipes off the various blogs into the wee hours of the morning, uninterrupted. There, I find and bookmark the ones I want to try, usually to my twitter account so I can find them easily the next day. When I am not browsing through some of the best recipe blogs in existence, I am browsing through my personal library of over 1000 cookbooks. So with all this great instruction at my finger tips, you would think I would have figured out by now how to be the greatest cook in existence. Well, I haven’t. No matter how you slice it, I am just getting started. Every day brings something new.

An old biology teacher in college once pointed out the marvels of science by demonstrating that there are only 12 notes in the universe (separated by half notes) , yet the amounts of songs and melodies in the universe are endless. The same goes for recipes, except the amount of ingredients are almost as endless as the amount of recipes in creation.

Over the years there has been entirely too much protein-salad-vegetable presentations in my kitchen, and not enough creativity. Although healthy meals were always an important outcome, I wanted to work more with flavors, add better spice combinations, more exciting salad dressings. As the publisher and editor of Food and Beverage International magazine for 15 years, I always had the notes of the greatest chefs at my fingertips, and to this day, have one of the finest collections of professional chef recipes available to all our readers. But I myself was not that famously creative chef. I was the working mom who had less than an hour to get dinner on the table for two growing sons and a fellow publisher, also known as my husband.

So today I bring you something simple, and very tasty. An easy dish, worthy of being added to that new “tried and true” list. This is a pasta dish with Ricotta cheese and fresh peas if you have them, frozen if you don’t. But each week I will bring you something different, with an emphasis on something I tried in order to teach myself one more skill.

The outcome of this recipe will be as beautiful for you as this picture presents.

Here’s till next week,

Ellen Walsh

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Pasta with Ricotta and Peas

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 3 large shallots or 1 small onion, very finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

  • 2 cups fresh shelled peas

  • 2 cups fresh ricotta

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 pound conchiglie (small, conch shell-shaped pasta) or other short-cut pasta like penne rigate, farfalle or short fusilli

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • 1/2 cup mint, chopped

  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling

  • Preparation

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 turns of the pan of olive oil. When hot, add butter to oil. When it foams, add shallots or onions and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Stir 3 minutes then add stock; boil and reduce heat to a low simmer.

  • Salt pasta water, drop pasta to cook to a minute shy of al dente. 

  • Add peas to simmering stock and cook 3-4 minutes then stir in the ricotta and warm through; add thyme and lemon zest. Reserve 1/2 cup starchy, pasta water then drain pasta. Add pasta to sauce along with the starchy water and grated cheese; toss to coat. Add most of the parsley and mint, and transfer to serving bowl. 

  • Top with drizzle of EVOO and remaining mint and parsley.

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http://fandbi.com/Recipes/index.html ( this is the orginal Food and Beverage International website, unchanged by modern technology, and an archive for old magazines and celebrity chef recipes we all worked on together)