Fettuccine with Peas, Ricotta and Prosciutto

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

In spring, when you can find fresh peas and sheep’s milk ricotta at the market, you can assemble this wholesome sauce in the time it takes to bring the pasta water to a boil.


  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) fresh or frozen English peas
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 lb. (500 g) dried fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) lightly packed fresh sheep’s milk ricotta or
      well-drained cow’s milk ricotta, at room temperature
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto di Parma, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. When the butter has melted and begins to sizzle, add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the peas, stir to coat thoroughly with the fat and cook until the peas are just tender and no longer taste raw, about 7 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tsp. salt, a generous grinding of pepper and the lemon zest and remove from the heat. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the cooking water.

Transfer the pasta to the pan with the sauce and toss gently to combine. Add a splash or two of the pasta-cooking water to loosen the sauce, if needed. Add the ricotta and prosciutto and toss gently to combine. Finally, add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss gently again. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Divide among 4 shallow bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Rustic Italian: Simple, Authentic Recipes for Everyday Cooking, by Domenica Marchetti (Weldon Owen, 2011).

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