Meatless Monday: Pasta With Light & Creamy Whipped Pea Ricotta Sauce

ingredients for whipped pea ricotta sauce in food processor; bowl of whipped pea ricotta sauce; bowl of linguine with whipped pea ricotta sauce

There are some people who don’t like pasta. Today’s recipe is for the other 95% of you. With so many options to choose from (wheat, gluten-free, quinoa, chickpea, einkorn), it’s no wonder so many of us still find a place in our hearts—and stomachs—for noodles. And while I won’t try to sway you one way or another when it comes to the type of pasta to choose, I am here today to make a case for a certain sauce. When you taste this simple whipped pea ricotta sauce, I think you’ll like it—a lot . This sauce has a beautifully balanced flavor: a little sweet, a little zesty, a little spicy; and it’s creamy yet light enough to enjoy during warmer months. Plus, you’ll be done cooking it in less time than it takes to cook your pasta. Add a salad on the side and you’ll have a complete, nutritious, home-cooked meal in less time than it takes to pick up takeout.

 

Is Pasta Right For Me?

For some, pasta is a year round food; for others, it’s prohibitive. There are so many ideas about what it means to eat healthily, but eating remains a highly personal act. A diet that works for one person won’t necessarily work for another; and a diet that works for most won’t work for all. That’s why it’s helpful to develop a sense not only of what you like to eat, but what makes you feel good when you eat it.

Linguine with whipped pea ricotta sauce is a great recipe if you love comfort food but want to err a little on the lighter side for whatever reason. It’s generally true that as the weather warms, your body increasingly sheds the need for heavy, grounding foods. Or, if you love pasta with luscious, creamy sauce—think macaroni and cheese—but feel heavy and lethargic after eating it, this is a great alternative.

 

 

 

 

The Gift Of Food

With all the demands being made on each of us on a typical day, what we eat is vitally important. We just don’t have time to spend feeling badly after we eat a box of takeout; we need the nutrients offered by real, whole food in order to be our best. At the same time, eating well is also about recognizing where we are in our eating journey in terms of what we like and need, and adjusting our diets accordingly. Linguine with creamy, whipped pea ricotta sauce offers just the right amount of richness to satisfy most of us when it’s warm out, and it’s beautifully simple. This recipe also offers the inherent satisfaction of enjoying a nutritious home-cooked meal in only twenty minutes. Now just don’t forget to gift yourself the time to enjoy every bite.

 

 

Linguine With Whipped Pea Ricotta Sauce (Vegetarian)

 

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes (unattended)

Total Time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried linguine, spaghetti, or tagliatelle
  • 1/4 cup almonds (unsalted, unroasted)
  • 1/2 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 6 Tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 6 Tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of dried red chili flakes
  • sea or pink Himalayan salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Directions

  1. Begin cooking the linguine according to the package instructions. While it’s cooking, proceed and make the sauce.
  2. If using packaged peas, cook them according to the package instructions. For fresh peas, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil, add peas, cook for one minute, and drain.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely ground.
  4. Add the cooked peas, Parmigiano, ricotta, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, and chili flakes, and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. When the linguine is done, reserve a little of the cooking water, and drain the rest. Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding a little cooking liquid to loosen it if desired. Serve immediately. 

 

 

 

Photos by Shiraz Leyva

 

 

 

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