Penne with Sugar Snap Peas & Ricotta


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Modern Mediterranean

Modern Mediterranean

By Melia Marden

Published 2013

  • About

Sweet, crunchy sugar snaps, mint, and parsley make this pasta taste like a mouthful of spring. I like to make the ricotta myself so that the texture is thick and creamy, although store-bought will work as well. You can make the ricotta on the stovetop while you prepare the rest of the pasta ingredients.


  • 1 pound (455 grams) sugar snap peas, strings removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound (455 grams) penne rigate
  • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pasta
  • 2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (250 grams) fresh ricotta, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (25 grams) finely chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup (25 grams) finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Cut the snap peas crosswise on a bias into pieces ¼ inch (6 millimeters) thick. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne rigate and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Before you drain the pasta, reserve 1 cup (240 milliliters) of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta, place in a large bowl, and toss with a little olive oil.
  3. Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) oil. Heat for 30 seconds, then add the shallots. Cook until softened but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the snap peas, ¾ teaspoon salt, the chili flakes, and black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the snap peas are tender but still bright green and slightly crunchy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add the pasta, ricotta, and reserved cooking water to the pot and stir well to combine. Cook until the pasta is warmed through and well coated by the other ingredients. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add most of the mint and parsley and mix well.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining herbs and some more black pepper. Serve immediately.