Sunday, July 23, 2006
Very quick fresh pasta with ricotta and peas
Last December I was given a pasta machine but didn't use it until recently when my friend Dean showed me how to. Pasta is one of those foods that, like dumplings, is best to learn from a person, not a book. The subtle, hard-to-describe touches - when the dough is ready, how to gently pull the pasta from the machine - are so much easier when demonstrated by a friend. And I think any opportunity to spend time creating something wonderful together with a dear friend should be taken.
I'm now a practised and addicted fettucine maker. I'm not going to give instructions on that here - I'm sure you have a cook book at home with a great recipe and hopefully a friend who can teach you much better than I can. Bought fresh pasta is generally pretty good too and best for this recipe as, like the sauce, it's really quick to make. I've tried a number of sauces, all simple so as to appreciate the freshness of the pasta - and this one is definitely the most popular and more-ish. Happily, it's also very easy to make. Salt and pepper are extremely important to help flavour this dish, so be sure to be liberal with them.
This dish can seem quite gluggy so be gentle when stirring through the sauce... although even then it may seem a little gluey. In that case I'd advise you to close your eyes and eat it, savouring every delicious mouthful!
This recipe will serve 4 people.
250g fresh ricotta
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 cup frozen peas (petit pois if possible)
1 spring onion, finely chopped
a few sprigs of mint, finely chopped
freshly ground salt and pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated (optional)
300g cooked fresh fettucine
Cook the peas in boiling water. Combine the remaining ingredients, then add the peas to these. Stir this sauce through hot pasta and serve immediately.