My sister gave me a great cookbook from Cook’s Illustrated – The Best Skillet Recipes – which I’ve been working my way through. The recipes are always foolproof and are very easy to follow, and this one is no exception. Creamy ricotta and crisp salty prosciutto pair perfectly and the addition of green peas, lemon, and fresh mint brighten the pasta and add great flavor.
1 cup whole made ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 medium onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press, (about 2 teaspoons)
½ cup dry white wine (optional)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
12 ounces (about 4 ½ cups) medium pasta shells
2 cups frozen peas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
- Combine the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the prosciutto and cook until well browned and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the prosciutto to a paper towel–lined plate, leaving the oil in the skillet.
- Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the oil left in the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in wine (if using) and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, water, and cream, then add the pasta. Increase the heat to high and cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender and the liquid has thickened, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Stir in the peas, butter, and lemon juice and cook until the peas are hot, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot heaping tablespoons of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Cover and let stand off the heat until the cheese warms and softens, 2 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the crisp prosciutto and mint and serve.