summertime ricotta pasta primavera

A couple of Sundays ago, I went with some friends to Westham Island, just outside of Vancouver. It’s one of my favorite places accessible across a single-vehicle wide wooden bridge and once you’ve crossed over, you’ll find an herb farm, a few few berry u-picks, a couple honey producers and a bird sanctuary. Heck, there’s even a gun club in case you’ve got the itch. By the time we left the island, the trunk was full of potted plants, local raspberries, new potatoes and a huge bag of fresh sweet peas.

After staining my fingers red from dipping into my raspberry stash, I moved onto the main event. Cornelius and I turned up the stereo and got to shucking the pound or so of English sweet peas. We made short work of it, laughing and reminiscing about childhoods spent at kitchen tables doing the same task under the watchful eye of grandmas. Once we were done, I hadn’t really figured out what I wanted to do with the peas, but dinner was calling and pasta primavera seemed like a good idea. Our CSA provided the broccoli and green onions and I spied a container of ricotta in the fridge. Perfect!

I really wanted the sweetness and crunch from the peas to be the standout, so I added them at the very end of cooking because nothing beats the goodness of raw peas! The meal came together quickly and could be easily adaptable depending on whatever vegetables you’ve got on hand. Sweet colourful peppers, summer squash, even chard or spinach would tasty additions from the garden. I used some fresh oregano here, but I’m sure any herb from your garden – dill, basil, parsley – would be wonderful. I only used a half lemon here, but if you’d like more of a lemon punch-up, add in some zest to brighten up the dish.

peas! greens! pasta!

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25 comments to “summertime ricotta pasta primavera”

  1. 1
    Kathryn | Dramatic Pancake   August 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    What a great summertime dish — simple, fresh, delicious. P.S great style- I have the same yellow bowl! :)

  2. 2
    Molly   August 2, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    There’s something almost zen about shelling fresh peas, no?

    I know that bowl, too. From my mom’s kitchen, where it has been filled countless times with fresh veggies bought from the farm stand down the road.

  3. 3
    Michelle   August 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    This sounds so light and fresh. Fresh peas had to make that divine! ! I’ve found a great tofu ricotta that would be perfect for this!

  4. 4
    Trysha   August 3, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Yum! My kids would totally eat this…I could even swap in some asparagus. Oh I know what’s for dinner tomorrow. :)

  5. 5
    Joanne   August 3, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Such stellar ingredients as fresh peas deserve a simple pasta like this! Delicious!

  6. 6
    Meg   August 3, 2011 at 5:47 am

    So fresh and summery – I love this!

  7. 7
    kickpleat   August 3, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Thanks Kathryn! Love those Pyrex bowls :)

    Molly, I love shelling peas – though I don’t know how zen it was since we were listening to loud music and all ;)

    Yes, with a good tofu ricotta, this would be an excellent vegan dish, Michelle.

    Thanks Trysha!

    Joanne, yup, best not to get too complicated here.

    Thanks Meg.

  8. 8
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)   August 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Such bright pretty peas! Lovely summer dish.

  9. 9
    Bijoux   August 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    This pasta just screams Summer! It looks delicious! I picked up some fresh peas a few weeks ago at the farmer’s market and I enjoyed eating them both fresh and lightly steamed. The steaming actually made them even sweeter which I’m partial too. So good! Will have to try adding the fresh peas to pasta next time.

  10. 10
    Sues   August 4, 2011 at 6:18 am

    This is so summery and perfect! I absolutely love peas in my pasta :)

  11. 11
    Mandy@Withmilkandflour   August 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    This looks delicious, nice and light for summer. Thank you for visiting the blog. Its been lovely discovering yours, great recipes and photos.

  12. 12
    Thursday Girls   August 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Yum! this looks scrumptious. thanks for sharing :)

  13. 13
    Dina   August 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Yum, wish I could eat some right now!

  14. 14
    Kimberley   August 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Simple summer pastas are where it’s at. That island sounds pretty heavenly.

  15. 15
    kickpleat   August 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Rivki, thanks so much!

    Bijoux, good to know about the steaming. These cook ever so lightly and the peas I had were super sweet :)

    Thanks Sues!

    Aw, thanks Mandy.

    Thursday Girls, thank you for stopping by!

    Dina, what are you waiting for ;)

    Kimberly, that island is pretty wonderful! Thanks.

  16. 16
    Lulu   August 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    So pretty and summery! I just picked fresh peas yesterday… you’ve inspired me with this recipe! I think I might use some goat chèvre and bacon that are just lounging around my fridge as well. Cheers =)

  17. 17
    Maddie   August 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I hardly use ricotta outside of lasagna, so it’s great to see it being used in this way (much easier than making a brick of lasagna, too!). We’ve been thinking about making our own ricotta, actually—have you ever tried?

  18. 18
    kickpleat   August 9, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Lulu, that sounds wonderful! Enjoy.

    Maddie, I hardly ever make lasagna – and now I’m totally craving it. I’ve never made my own ricotta but it’s apparently pretty easy to make. It’s now on my list :)

  19. 19
    nyc food photographer   August 10, 2011 at 11:58 am

    This seems like the perfect summer dish… YUM!

  20. 20
    kickpleat   August 11, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Thanks nyc food photographer – it’s easy and tasty, what’s not to like?

  21. 21
    Ashley   August 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Yumm fresh peas!! My mom lives near Westham Island. :) I love the sound of this simple green creamy pasta.

  22. 22
    Katina   September 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Mmm..just made this for dinner tonight. Thanks for the recipe!

  23. 23
    Sarah   July 31, 2012 at 8:05 am

    If I can’t find fresh peas, how would edamame be as a substitute?

  24. 24
    kickpleat   July 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Sarah, you can easily use frozen peas and edamame would be fine too!

  25. 25
    Nancy Curtis   August 28, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Thanks for sharing…wish I had been there with you. One thing…shucking is for corn….shelling is what you do to peas and snapping is what you do to green beans. Aren’t you lucky to have them….wonderful! Fresh is always best.
    Nancy

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