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Lemony Asparagus & Ricotta Pasta

mj14_ricotta_pastaServes 4

16 ounces penne rigate
1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch (app. 30 stalks) asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 cups peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)
Reserved pasta water (about 1⁄2 cup)
2 cups whole milk ricotta
1⁄2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
Zest of lemon
Salt and pepper
Chopped flat leaf parsley, to garnish

Cook the pasta in well-salted boiling water to al dente. Reserve 1⁄2 cup pasta water, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a deep skillet, warm the butter over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and add the asparagus and peas, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Add a bit of the pasta water—about 1⁄4 cup—and the ricotta, stirring to coat thoroughly. If the pasta seems dry, add another 1⁄4 cup pasta water. Finally add the Pecorino Romano and lemon zest, salt to taste, and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped parsley and fresh cracked black pepper.

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