Pasta with ricotta, peas, and fresh mint (oh…and bacon) is the perfect quick meal for a busy weeknight. It’s reminiscent of Mac and cheese but a little more grown up and with more nutritional value. You can easily toss in whatever veggies (sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, any leafy greens, and/or asparagus would all be delicious) and whatever fresh herbs you like or have on hand. You can’t go wrong here; this creamy and flavorful dish is good in any form!
Pasta with Ricotta, Peas, Bacon, and Fresh Mint
8 oz whole wheat fusili or other noodle
4 slices turkey bacon, diced into small pieces
1 onion, chopped
1/2 bag frozen peas
16 oz container of whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Juice of 1-2 lemons
1 large handful fresh mint leaves, rough chopped
A few handfuls of arugula
Cook pasta according to package directions, making sure to salt the water. Meanwhile, add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pot and saute the bacon until crispy; remove pieces to a paper towel to drain. Add chopped onion to the pot and saute until soft (5-7 minutes). Add the peas and saute one more minute, then drain pasta (reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water) and add to the pot along with the ricotta, lemon juice, mint, Parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil. Gently mix together with a spatula, adding a little of the reserved pasta water if the mixture seems dry. Serve over a bed of arugula with another sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a lemon wedge. This dish is also great at room temperature or chilled as a pasta salad.