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An easy pasta dish

Scripps Howard News Service

Must credit Tampa Bay Times

By JANET K. KEELER

Tampa Bay Times

The editors of Food & Wine magazine regularly compile recipes from the best cookbooks of the year. Tagliatelle with Smashed Peas, Sausage and Ricotta Cheese from a Giada De Laurentiis cookbook is one of my favorites from a few years back. Substitute tagliatelle with flat fettuccine if you'd like. Serve it with a green salad.

TAGLIATELLE WITH SMASHED PEAS, SAUSAGE AND RICOTTA CHEESE

1 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 pound frozen peas, thawed

1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 bunch fresh basil leaves chopped (about 3/4 cup)

1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1 teaspoon salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes if dry or according to package directions if fresh. Drain pasta, 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. When the sausage has browned, about 5 minutes, remove from heat and set aside. Add the peas to the pan and, using the back of the wooden spoon, smash them. 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.

Serves 4 to 6.

-- "Giada's Kitchen" by Giada De Laurentiis (Clarkson Potter, 2008)

(Contact Tampa Bay Times food and travel editor Janet K. Keeler at jkeeler(at)tampabay.com.)

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