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Farfalle with Whipped Ricotta, Lemon Garlic Butter, Peas

Farfalle with Whipped Ricotta, Lemon Garlic Butter, and Peas

Creamy whipped ricotta serves as a luscious base for delicate farfalle and peas in this springtime pasta dish.


Meaning “butterflies” in Italian, farfalle is the equivalent to what we call “bowties” here in the U.S. They’re dainty, delicate, and oh so adorable. Although you can typically find this shape in most supermarkets in the form of dried pasta,Β  you can also make fresh, homemade farfalle.

Here we’ve prepared fresh egg farfalle, and served them over a bed of whipped ricotta, along with a lemon garlic butter sauce, peas, and pea shoots. Although you can use dried pasta instead, we think the fresh egg farfalle have a richer taste and a more delicate texture.

Be sure to buy the best quality whole milk ricotta you can find, as it’s an integral part of the dish. You’ll also want to be careful not to plate the pasta over the ricotta when it’s steaming hot or it will melt the ricotta and ruin the presentation. Let it cool just a minute or two before arranging.


Farfalle with Whipped Ricotta, Lemon Garlic Butter, and Peas

Serves 4

Special Equipment

If making fresh farfalle, you’ll need the following:

Pasta machine
Adjustable Pasta Wheel (aka pasta bike) or Straight-Edge Pasta Wheel
Fluted Pasta Wheel

Ingredients

1 pound / 450 grams of farfalle pasta (preferably made fresh, see directions below)
Kosher salt, q.b.
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano
6 tablespoons salted butter
lemon zest, from 1/2 a lemon
1 garlic clove
black pepper, q.b.
1/2 cup green peas
pea shoots, for serving

Method

To make the farfalle:

If making fresh farfalle, mix and knead together a fresh egg pasta dough. Cover in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Uncover and divide into four quarters. Take a piece of dough and roll through a pasta machine until you have a thin sheet (cover the remaining dough you’re not rolling out with plastic wrap). You want the dough to be thin but still have some structure. We recommend rolling it through the second or third-to-last setting on your pasta machine.

Using a pasta wheel or bike, cut out the sheet of dough into rectangles, about 1Β½ inches long and 3/4-inch wide. You can add a decorative edge by running a fluted pasta wheel over the short edges.

Pinch the top third of the dough together, then the bottom third. Finally, pinch to the two pinched thirds together in the middle to create an accordion fold. Pinch tightly to seal. Set aside on a parchment or tea towel-lined tray while you shape the remaining farfalle.

To make the whipped ricotta & accompaniments:

In a medium-sized bowl, add the ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano, and salt. Whip together using the whisk attachment on a mixer until ricotta is fluffy and creamy. Taste and adjust for salt as desired. Set the ricotta aside.

Blanch peas for about a minute in a pot of salted, boiling water. Drain and place over an ice bath to cool quickly. Set aside.

Add garlic clove, lemon zest, and salted butter to a large skillet on medium-low heat. Heat just until the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to let the butter brown or burn. Remove the garlic clove and discard.

To assemble:

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water. If using fresh pasta, it will take about 3-5 minutes. If using dry farfalle, they will need to cook for 8-10 minutes.

Once the pasta is done, use a slotted spoon to transfer the farfalle to the pan with the butter. Add in the peas. Toss to coat, adding in freshly cracked black pepper. Remove from heat and let cool for 1 minute.

Spread a bed of the whipped ricotta onto each serving plate. Carefully arrange the pasta and peas on top. Decorate with a few pea shoots just before serving.

Nota bene: Pasta should be warm, but not steaming hot when you add it to the whipped ricotta, or it will melt the ricotta quickly and lose its presentation. Let the pasta and peas cool off for a couple of minutes until it’s no longer steaming before adding to the ricotta. This will also help the butter sauce to thicken up a bit.

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