Prep 10 mins
Cook 35 mins
The browned butter is the secret to this dish. The recipe was published in the Toronto Star and credited to the San Francisco Chronicle.
- 8 ounces whole wheat pasta, such as rotini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 5 ounces snap peas, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
- 1 bunch asparagus, tips only (top inch or so)
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- coarse salt, to taste
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced mint
- 1 tablespoon minced lemon zest
- 6 tablespoons fresh ricotta
- 1⁄4 cup toasted coarsely chopped hazelnuts
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.
- Heat oil in medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened and slightly brown, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add snap peas, asparagus and lemon juice, and cook, stir for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to sauté pan, and add 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water to pan.
- Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until water is almost absorbed and peas and asparagus are bright green but tender, about 4 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat butter in small pan over high heat, swirling as butter begins to change colour. As soon as butter browns, about 4 minutes, remove from heat.
- Stir mint and lemon zest into pasta and divide pasta among four bowls.
- Top each bowl with 1- 1/2 tablespoons ricotta, 1/4 of the hazelnuts, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon brown butter.
This was really delicious. The browned butter really DOES make the dish! The only thing I changed is I used fresh basil instead of mint (hate mint for some reason, and basil is in the mint family). Just be sure to serve it right away since leftovers aren't nearly as good because the pasta seems to absorb the brown butter and you are left with boring, ordinary pasta with no sauce.
This was absolutely, without a doubt, a fantastic 5. I served it to dinner guests and they agreed...definitely a keeper. I did play with the recipe some to suit what I had on hand and the scene in which I was making it. I skipped the lemon zest and mint but did use fresh lemon juice, which I believe was essential. I also used Smart Balance for the butter (it's what I keep on hand) and macadamia nuts (needed to get rid of them). Also, this was a meal with three adults and five toddlers, so there really wasn't time/energy to serve the garnishes carefully measured and we all voted to just mix it all together in the pot (off the heat). I'm glad we did; I think mixing the ricotta and brown butter into the whole dish made it so much more flavorful. Thanks for posting...I know I will make it again and again while there are snap peas at the farmer's market!
Great pasta dish with one of my favorite veggies. The browned butter is delicious! Made for ZWT4 Family Picks for the Tastebud Tickling Travellers.