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Overhead view of ribbon-shaped pasta with green peas and ricotta, topped in a green sauce
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High-Protein Pappardelle-Style Pasta and Zucchini with Green Peas and Almond-Macadamia Ricotta

I call for asparagus ribbons here, but you could really use any high-protein pasta that mimics pappardelle. I was inspired to use this style not only because I find it awfully pretty, but because its big, flat, wide shape makes a lovely surface for the light sauce to cling to. I could also envision using high-protein fettucine. But feel free to use the real thing (the durum kind). If eggs aren't an issue for you and can't find pappardelle anywhere (eggs or sans), tagliatelle is the closest substitution. I chose the Eden brand for this recipe, but Explore Cuisine is also a good one.
And about the demi-glace: use vegetable broth if you don't have one handy. And homemade if you can. If you must use a store-bought broth or stock, be fussy and prefer an organic one. The canned or boxed stuff will be sub-par here; instead, ask if your local specialty store carries a good frozen or refrigerated stock. The better it is, the better your pea sauce will taste.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: high-protein, demi-glace, sauce, demi-glace, mushrooms, shiitake, umami, make-ahead, pasta, peas, dairy-free ricotta
Servings: 3

Ingredients

  • 4 cups green peas, fresh or frozen (about 300 g)
  • 1 package high-protein pasta in ribbons, fettuccine or pappardelle (about 200 g)
  • ¼ cup demi-glace or vegetables or 2 ½ cups of vegetable broth (about 30g)
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 cup almond-macadamia ricotta

Instructions

  • Bring 2 ½ cups of water to a boil, then add the demi-glace. Otherwise, use vegetable broth. Keeping a handful of raw peas aside, cook the rest in the boiling liquid for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on their size. While the peas cook, boil the pasta according to package directions in generously salted water. (For pappardelle, this is for seven to eight minutes.)
  • Place the peas and 150ml of their cooking water in a blender and mix until smooth, adding the basil and more broth if needed to produce a thin, flavorful sauce. Drain the pasta, return to the pot and drizzle with a drizzle of oil to prevent them from sticking. Pour in three-quarters of the pea sauce and stir. Check the seasoning. Divide between two or three soup plates and pour in the rest of the sauce.
  • Break the ricotta into large chunks, sprinkle it over the pasta with the reserved raw peas (but thawed or slightly warmed), pepper, and serve.

Notes

Start preparing the pea sauce before the pasta. The sauce will hold well while the pasta cooks. If you are using fresh peas, check them every minute or so throughout cooking; they can take anything from 4 minutes too much longer to become tender. It all depends on their age and size. If you are using frozen peas, they should be done in four to five minutes.
You can make a similar sauce with broad beans. There are more starchy than peas, so be prepared to add a little more demi-glace/water mixture or vegetable broth while mixing.