Friday, May 15, 2009
Friday Night Pasta Night
I made this dish a few weeks ago when a friend was in town. I have some leftover ricotta in the fridge and I think I will make it again tonight. This week has been long and busy, and there's just something about pasta on a Friday night that sounds comforting, don't you think?
This pasta is nice because it is chock full of veggies (you could even add in fresh peas or favas), and the ricotta and lemon make it light and seasonal and very very tasty.
Three cheers for the weekend!
Orecchiette with Asparagus, Ricotta, and Prosciutto
1 pound dried orecchiette pasta
2 Tbl. Olive oil
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ to ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup ricotta cheese
Grated zest of one lemon
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta for about ten minutes, or until al dente.
Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a deep large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the asparagus and sauté, tossing with tongs, for about three minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook one minute, making sure the garlic does not burn. Lower the heat and add the broth, ricotta, lemon zest, and prosciutto. Stir to combine well. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the ricotta mix. If it is too dry add a bit of the pasta water to moisten (I added olive oil instead, just a tiny bit). Toss to combine. Serve in shallow pasta bowls and pass parmesan cheese, if desired.
I added favas, peeling them and then blanching them before adding them in with the asparagus to get them nice and hot and let all the flavors get yummy!