We had an almost-full container of ricotta cheese in the fridge, so I asked SP to search for a recipe to use it up. He found this one for Tagliatelle with Smashed Peas, Sausage, and Ricotta Cheese that sounded both easy and delicious.
Like I do with most pasta recipes these days, I only used a half pound instead of the full pound. Cutting down on the pasta while keeping the filler ingredients the same is an easy way for us to get our pasta fix without going overboard. I also cut the peas down from a full pound to a half pound because, wow a pound is a lot of peas. SP wanted the sauce to be smoother. We couldn't taste the ricotta at all, which was disappointing, but we still enjoyed it.
Pasta with Smashed Peas, Sausage, and Ricotta Cheese
Giada De Laurentiis
1/2 pound fresh or dried tagliatelle pasta (or other wide, long pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 pound frozen peas, thawed
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 bunch fresh basil leaves chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet heat the olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat and add the sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage into bite-sized bits.
Once the sausage has browned, about 5 minutes, remove and set aside. Add the peas to the pan and, using the back of the wooden spoon, smash the peas.
Turn off the heat. Add the ricotta cheese along with the cooked pasta and toss to coat, adding the pasta cooking water in 1/4 cup additions, if needed, to make the pasta moist. Return the sausage to the pan. Add the basil, Pecorino Romano cheese, and salt. Toss gently to coat and serve immediately