I probably should have saved this for ThrowBack Thursday, I mean who remembers Prince spaghetti? Growing up in an Italian family, I certainly do remember the macaroni products we had in our home. My father did buy Prince spaghetti, however I clearly remember the LaRosa brand boxes of shells and I think the family favorite was Ronzoni. When I was a young married, I always stuck with Ronzoni and because I saw my parents pour the pasta out of the pot and into a colander and then rinse it, I did the same! I can’t remember now when I learned that was definitely NOT the thing to do! Rinsing the pasta removes some of its flavorful starch that was released during the cooking process. Not only do I NOT rinse my pasta, I often save a cup of the water to add to my sauces. Specifically the pasta water is used in many of my vegetarian pasta dishes to make a thin sauce that may also have some broth, butter or oil.
What do I buy now? I love the taste of Barilla macaroni products although so many of my Italian friends swear by De Cecco. So recently, I purchased some De Cecco linguine and I swear it didn’t have the same flavor. De Cecco is made in Italy so I’ll give it a few more tries and see if I like the results.
This Wednesday, even though it is STILL raw and cold outside, not to mention raining, I thought I would try welcoming Spring into the apartment with a truly Spring-like pasta dish. To quote Pure Wow , the site where I found this recipe by Erin McDowell; “We had a good run, soups and stews. But as temperatures rise and flowers bloom, we’re ready to swap rich and hearty for light and fresh”.
Serves 4-6 Time: 30 minutes
1 lb bucatini, spaghetti or other long pasta
1 1/2 cups fresh peas
12 marinated artichoke heart quarters, drained
3 TBS unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese
2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS freshly chopped mint for garnish
Lemon zest for garnish
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, cook till pasta is al dente, 6-8 minutes (or according to package instructions). One minute before pasta is done, add the peas to the pot. Before draining, ladle out and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
Drain pasta and peas in colander and immediately add artichoke hearts. Toss to combine.
Return pasta and vegetables to the pot, then add the butter and Pecorino cheese, and toss to coat. Add 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water to and the lemon juice, and continue tossing until the mixture forms a creamy coating. Add additional water if needed. Season with salt to taste.
To serve, transfer pasta to plates, and top with mint, lemon zest and black pepper.