Cheesy Spaghetti With Peas
Try this quick, delicious one-plate pasta entree.
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Spaghetti with ricotta and peas is one of those quick, delicious one-plate entrees, providing meat, veggies, carbs and calcium in one fell swoop.
No need for side dishes or salad unless you have the time and inclination.
This recipe comes from Good Housekeeping's 100 Best Pasta Recipes (Hearst Books/Sterling), a nifty hardbound book with dozens of color pictures. As expected from GH, the recipes are inviting; there is no elaborate prep or hard-to-find, unpronounceable ingredients.
Pasta, of course, is the star in a variety of the dishes: meat, poultry, seafood, vegetarian, with Spanish spices or Asian accents, stuffed, baked, in a frittata, pie or soup.
There's a recipe for every appetite, even reduced-fat macaroni and cheese. For those watching numbers, the amounts of calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat, cholesterol and sodium in each serving are included.
In this recipe, bacon adds its seductive flavor to the attractive green peas in white cheese sauce.
While it won't knock your gourmet socks off, few strands will be left behind for the pooch, patiently waiting to lick the plate.
Spaghetti with Ricotta and Peas
1 lb. thin spaghetti or vermicelli (see note)
1 cup reserved pasta water
4 slices bacon
1 medium onion, finely chopped
10-oz. package frozen peas
15-oz. container part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated pecorino, Romano or Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. pepper
Put water on to boil in large saucepan to cook pasta.
In a 12-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until browned. Drain on paper towels.
Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. fat from skillet. Add onion and cook until tender and golden, eight to 10 minutes.
During last two minutes of pasta cooking time, remove one cup of pasta water. Add frozen peas to the pasta pot. When pasta is cooked to desired doneness, drain the pasta and peas. Return to saucepan.
Pour reserved pasta water, onion, cheeses, salt and pepper over hot pasta (or you can mix these together beforehand to make a creamy sauce). Mix thoroughly. Pour onto a serving dish and crumble bacon on top. Pass the Parmesan.
Each serving: about 745 calories, 37 grams protein, 103 grams carbohydrate, 20 grams total fat, 54 milligrams cholesterol, 880 milligrams sodium.
Tester's note: If you like your pasta saucy, use less than 1 pound of spaghetti, since that amount sucks up all the liquid, three-quarters of the box will suffice.
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