Orecchiette with Peas, Salmon and Ricotta

2 cups fresh or frozen shelled peas or 1½ pound peas in the shell (these will have to be shelled)

1 pound orecchiette


2 tablespoons olive oil

5 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

¾ cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

Zest of 1 lemon

2 cups 2-inch cooked salmon pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fresh pea shoots, for garnish

In a small pot bring water and salt to a boil. Add the peas and cook 2 minutes. Drain immediately and reserve.

Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al-dente.

While the pasta is cooking make the sauce: In a large, deep skillet heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the peas and saute for a minute or until slightly softened. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes; cook only a minute, making sure the garlic does not burn. Lower the heat and add the ricotta, lemon zest and salmon pieces, and mix to combine completely. Season with salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.

When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Add the pasta to the ricotta mixture. If it is too dry, add a bit of the pasta cooking water to moisten. Mix to combine. Cook for a minute on low heat. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with pea shoots and serve immediately in shallow pasta bowls.

Serves six.

Diane Rossen Worthington

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