Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Orecchiette with Carmalized Onions, Sugar Snap Peas and Ricotta

Slightly creamy with peas (the good kind).

It is not yet June. There are, in fact, another two weeks before it becomes June. But last week the Bon Appetit that suggests what I should cook in June arrived in my mailbox. And though I probably should be cooking things from the May issue since, you know, it's still May and it features foods available in May, I am highly suggestible. So I started adding dishes from the June issue to the Meatless Monday list. Which is how we ended up with orecchiette with sugar snap peas even though it is May and even though sugar snap peas won't really be available till next month.

Orechiette is one of the little pastas, like orzo and conchigliette. The article that accompanied this recipe called it "ear shaped." I always think of it as shaped like a buttercup, which inevitably makes me think of the song. So orechiette and the Foundations, wierdly associated in my head. Anyway, it's a good pasta. So bookmark this page and come back to it in a few weeks when sugar snap peas are everywhere.

Eat Rating: Good. Not awesome. Slighly below awesome. But still good. Particularly because I love crisp snap peas.
Difficulty: Easy. The only weird instrument required is a zester, my favorite kitchen invention ever. If you don't have that, the finer holes on a grater would work.

From Bon Appetit Magazine, June 2009

2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups onion, chopped
1 cup (8 oz) sugar snap peas, cut into pieces
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (LN: They recommend whole milk, but we used fat-free)
Fresh basil leaves, torn
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest (About one lemon's worth)

In a large skillet, heat the oil and then saute the onions until lightly browned, about five minutes. Reduce heat to medium and saute the onions for another 15 minutes. You want them browned all the way through. While the onions are cooking, boil a pot of water for the pasta. Cook pasta according to the package directions (mine took about 8 minutes.)

Once the onions are thoroughly cooked, add the cut peas and saute until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat until pasta is cooked.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of liquid. Add the pasta and 1/2 cup of the water to the onion/pea mixture and return the pan to medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute, then stir in the ricotta, basil and lemon zest. Stir until well-incorporated, adding additional pasta water if necessary.

Serve immediately.

All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

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