Christmas Snowflake Pasta

Christmas Snowflake Pasta

 makes two very generous portions


8 ounces (half a bag) snowflake pasta (available from Williams Sonoma)

1/2 to 3/4 of a red pepper (about 1/2 cup), diced

about 3/4 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup minced onion

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

salt, pepper to taste

red pepper flakes (optional)

pasta water

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

minced parsley


Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water until almost done. It will cook a little longer in the sauce. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Sauté the onion and pepper at low to medium heat in the olive oil until softened. Add the frozen peas and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes, if desired. 

Using a slotted spoon or "spider" tool, drain the pasta right into the pan with the peas and red peppers. It's ok if some of the pasta water gets into the pan too. In fact, you'll need to reserve about a cup of the pasta water for this recipe. You may not use all the water - maybe only half of it - but it's good to have it on hand.

After draining the pasta into the red peppers and peas mixture, add spoonfuls of the ricotta cheese and some of the reserved pasta water. Stir and blend everything together. You want it to be moist, not dry, and you may need to add more pasta water as the pasta continues to absorb it. Keep stirring in the rest of the ricotta and pasta water (at low heat)  until you have the desired consistency - not soupy, but not dry either). Turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, leaving some to serve at the table. Sprinkle with a little minced parsley and serve.