Fettuccine With Ricotta and Spring Vegetables
*If you decide to be adventurous and make fresh pasta, take note that fresh pasta cooks more quickly than dried, so add asparagus, carrots and peas to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Add fresh fettuccine and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes longer.
1 pound fettuccine, bought or homemade
6 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups trimmed and bite-size pieces asparagus
1 cup each peeled and thinly sliced carrots
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
Heat garlic and oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When garlic starts to sizzle, reduce heat to low and continue to cook garlic cloves, turning them once or twice, until soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let garlic stand in oil for a few minutes, then mash it and stir it, along with 1 tablespoon of the oil, into ricotta. Reserve remaining flavored oil for another use.
Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts of generously salted water to boil in a large soup kettle. Add fettuccine and, using back-of-the-box times as a guide, cook partially covered and stir frequently at first to prevent sticking, until just tender. Add asparagus, carrots and peas to the boiling pasta the last 5 minutes of cooking. Set colander over a large bowl and drain pasta, reserving cooking liquid; return pasta to the pot. Mash garlic and stir it into the ricotta, along with scallions, Parmesan, and enough hot-pasta cooking liquid to form a creamy sauce. Serve, sprinkling each portion with cheese. http://ow.ly/i/bct6l