Pasta Parmigiano-Reggiano…


Last night I was going to create a new pasta dish.

Sunday, the farmer’s market was closing up in town so we did a quick, masked run through.

I visited my favorite Italian cheese stand and secured some delicious fresh burrata and the man in the booth was pitching me his homemade fresh ricotta.

I succumbed even though it was pricey for 8 ounces.

Last night I gathered lemon zest from 1 large lemon, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.

I grabbed the Ricotta, opened it up and as my obsession guided me, I did the smell test.

Holy cow the ricotta turned.

Now I am stuck.

It is 8pm and I am not running to the store.

I put on my improv toque and boiled up the pasta, preserving 1 cup of pasta water, drained the pasta and repurposed the pot.

I melted 2 tablespoons of butter, added a tablespoon of sautéed leeks (I keep an endless batch in the refrigerator) and sautéed fresh English peas (frozen are fine) for 1 minute.

I tossed in 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, zest from 1 large lemon, lemon juice, kosher salt and lots of ground black paper, a sprinkle of Red Pepper flakes, ribboned fresh basil and slowly added 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water.

I added 2-3 cups of cooked pasta…enough for 2 servings.

Stir. When the mixture is hot and all the pasta coated,  I served up 2 bowls and embellished with additional grated Parmesan.

If there is pasta left over I pour in the remaining 1/2 cup pasta water into the storage container. When you serve the remaining pasta make sure to cook with the water.

The improvised pasta dish received great reviews and, as usual, it is inexpensive, quick, easy and of course, delectable!

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