Orecchiette Pasta with English Peas, Pecorino Cheese & Mint

Orecchiette Pasta

with English Peas, Pecorino Cheese & Mint

Group Created with Sketch. 20 min
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  • icon-servings Created with Sketch.
    2 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 700 Cals/serving

In spring, eating well isn’t hard. The ingredients available at this time of year are incredibly flavorful, and cooking with them is surprisingly easy. In this simple pasta dish, we’re making a sauce for orecchiette (a small pasta whose name literally translates to “little ears”) using two different parts of the pea plant. English peas and pea tips (the plant’s flavorful leaves) brightened with lemon and paired with silky ricotta cheese make the perfect base for this deliciously fresh, seasonal pasta dish.

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Orecchiette Pasta with English Peas, Pecorino Cheese & Mint
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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Shell the English peas. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lemon, avoiding the pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Cook the pasta:
2 Cook the pasta:

Once the pot of water is boiling, add the pasta. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water, thoroughly drain the cooked pasta.

Make the lemon ricotta:
3 Make the lemon ricotta:

While the pasta cooks, in a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, lemon zest and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges; stir to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the vegetables:
4 Cook the vegetables:

While the pasta continues to cook, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic, onion and English peas; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened.

Finish the pasta:
5 Finish the pasta:

To the pan of vegetables, add the cooked pasta, pea tips, lemon ricotta, half the pecorino cheese and ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the pasta is thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Divide the finished pasta between 2 dishes. Garnish with the mint and remaining pecorino cheese. Enjoy!

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1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Shell the English peas. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lemon, avoiding the pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

2 Cook the pasta:

Once the pot of water is boiling, add the pasta. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water, thoroughly drain the cooked pasta.

Cook the pasta:
Make the lemon ricotta:
3 Make the lemon ricotta:

While the pasta cooks, in a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, lemon zest and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges; stir to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Cook the vegetables:

While the pasta continues to cook, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic, onion and English peas; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened.

Cook the vegetables:
Finish the pasta:
5 Finish the pasta:

To the pan of vegetables, add the cooked pasta, pea tips, lemon ricotta, half the pecorino cheese and ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the pasta is thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Plate your dish:

Divide the finished pasta between 2 dishes. Garnish with the mint and remaining pecorino cheese. Enjoy!

Plate your dish: