Recipe for bow-tie pasta with peas, leeks, and ricotta – The Boston Globe

Bow-tie pasta with peas, leeks, and ricotta

Sheryl Julian/Globe Staff

Bow-tie pasta with peas, leeks, and ricotta

Serves 4

Begin this creamy pasta with sauteed leeks, peas, pasta cooking water (it’s starchy and perfect for the sauce), and ricotta. Add to cooked bow ties and sprinkle with fresh mint. It’s spring in a bowl. Leeks can be terribly sandy, so soak them in cold water, then lift from the water instead of tipping into a colander so you leave the sand behind.

Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound bow-tie pasta
1 cup pasta cooking water
2 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, soaked in cold water, and drained
1 pound shelled fresh or frozen peas
1 cup skim or whole-milk ricotta
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, stir well, and when the water returns to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the pasta for 8 minutes
or until it is tender but still has some bite. Dip a heatproof measuring cup into the pasta water and remove 1 cup. Drain the pasta into a colander and, without rinsing it, return it to the pot.

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2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the leeks, salt, and
pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Add the peas. Cook, stirring often, for 2 to 4 minutes more or until the peas are hot and cooked through.

3. Tip the mixture in the skillet into the pasta. Add the ricotta by the spoonful, dotting it all over the pasta. Add the pasta cooking water. Use a large metal spoon to stir gently over medium heat for 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Sprinkle with mint. Sheryl Julian