Sunday, October 31, 2010

Penne with lemon, ricotta and peas

Unfortunately I don’t have time to write a proper post, but I made this lovely pasta over the weekend and I just have to share it with you. It’s really very simple (as most good recipes are), and its success relies on the quality of ingredients (as most good recipes' do).

Buy decent ricotta (the kind that comes in its own little ‘basket’) — Woolies do a nice one. And try to buy fresh peas still in their pods if you can. It’s sort of the whole point of the dish: to have fresh spring peas.

I love shelling peas... I like to imagine I am a fifties Italian housewife, sitting outside, watching the world go by, gossiping, shelling peas over a large bucket.

Sometimes I even tie a little scarf over my hair, peasant style.

No I don't. I just made that up.

Be careful not to overcook the peas — they should be tender but still firm and bright green. Blanching is best.

Penne with lemon, ricotta and spring peas
Serves 4

400g penne
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
About 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2½ cups green peas, blanched
½ cup finely sliced basil leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g ricotta cheese
Grated Parmesan, to taste

Place the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pan. Toss the pasta with the olive oil, lemon juice, basil, peas, salt and pepper. Add the ricotta and mix gently. Spoon onto serving plates and top with an extra glug of olive oil and the Parmesan.


  1. Delicious! That combo is wonderful.



  2. Nice one, Robyn. This would also taste SO good with some buffalo mozarella if you wanted a stronger taste than the ricotta, I think. Or even some goat's chevin! *cue mouthwatering*

  3. As soon as spring hits and I can find some fresh spring peas...I will so be making this. What a nice combination of fresh flavors!

  4. Followinig this post there was a run on penne at Woolies last night and they sold out. Made it with macaroni-schmoni and sugar snap peas and it was a delicious light summer meal.

  5. Wow, you really get into the whole pea shelling thing huh - love it ;) Really like this simple & so colourful little dish, nice one.

  6. I love my pasta dishes like this!! It is easy, freah with the ricotta in it & ooh so appetizing too!

    Yummie food!

  7. Lovely pasta with the peas and lemon flavors. Your photos are outstanding.

  8. I am loving seeing the fresh SPring recipes while we have Fall here. Perfect Italian cooking on your end-Simple and Fresh with top notch ingredients.
    Well done!

  9. Perfect timing - this takes care of the gap I had on my menu plan for tomorrow night's dinner, and it just so happens that I made fresh ricotta this afternoon, and picked up a lovely bag of fresh broad beans which will make a great substitute for the peas - we are probably a bit behind you weatherwise here in NZ, as we are still probably 2-3 weeks off getting fresh peas (can hardly wait)!
    Sue :-)

  10. Great looking dish! Make me hungry!

  11. That looks so fresh + delicious! I can't wait to make it.