Pasta makes an easy and delicious weeknight dinner, especially when dressed according to the season. Make this wholesome sauce in the spring, when you can find fresh peas — it can be assembled in the time it takes to boil the pasta water.
Fettuccine with Peas, Ricotta & Prosciutto
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, finely diced
2 cups (10 oz./315 g.) fresh or thawed frozen peas
Zest of 2 lemons
1 lb. (500 g.) dried fettuccine
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) lightly packed fresh sheep’s milk ricotta or well-drained cow’s milk ricotta, at room temperature
4 thin slices prosciutto di Parma, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. When the butter has melted and begins to sizzle, add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, 7-8 minutes. Add the peas, stir to coat thoroughly with the fat, and cook until just tender and no longer raw-tasting, about 7 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, a generous grinding of pepper, and the lemon zest and remove from the heat. Cover the sauce to keep warm and set aside.
Add the fettuccine to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.). Transfer the pasta to the pan with the sauce and toss gently to combine. Add a splash or two of the pasta-cooking water to loosen the sauce, if needed. Add the ricotta and prosciutto and toss gently to mix. Finally, add the Parmigiano and toss gently again. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Divide among 4 shallow bowls and serve. Serves 4.