It looks like summer is finally upon us, despite the fact that last week decided to grace us with some downright chilly that would’ve been more appropriate for late October, as opposed to mid-June. One of the joys of the Canadian climate, sadly.
My very favourite part of the warmer weather is that it means that the farmer’s market returns to the park down the street, bringing with it an ever-increasing assortment of locally-grown goodies. This week, the first sweet peas of the season made their debut, which is definitely cause for celebration in my books.
Sadly, this weekend’s batch aren’t quite sweet enough to eat straight out of the pod yet, but with a quick blanch in some boiling water (say, 2-3 minutes) to take out the starchy taste, they ought to be downright delicious… especially when tossed in a ridiculously effortless pasta dish that comes together so quickly you’ll have tons of time left over to enjoy the balmy weather.
No fresh peas at your market yet? Still not ready to let go of spring and move into summer? Never fear – this one is just as delicious if you sub in some asparagus or the last few fiddleheads of the season, gently steamed until tender-crisp.
Lemon-Ricotta Pasta with Peas and Seared Scallops
1 box pappardelle or fettuccine pasta
12 large fresh sea scallops
4 tbsp good-quality olive oil, divided
1 tbsp butter
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups fresh green peas, shelled and blanched
4 tbsp fresh thyme, minced (pref lemon thyme, if you have it)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 container (475g) ricotta cheese
Cook the pasta per package directions until al dente.
While pasta is cooking, rinse scallops and pat dry. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter over high heat in a skillet until foamy. Sprinkle scallops with a little salt and pepper; place in skillet in single layer. Cook, turning once, until brown on outside and just opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.
Drain pasta and return to the pot over low heat. Stir in lemon zest, juice, remaining 3 tbsp olive oil, peas, and thyme. Toss to coat, then season with salt and lots of pepper. Add the ricotta and mix gently until pasta is coated evenly.
To serve, divide the pasta between four plates, topping each with three scallops and a sprig of fresh thyme.