Wednesday dinner: Orrecchiette with sugar snap peas and caramelized onions

I cannot seem to kick the cold that’s been haunting me for the past week. After going to the doctor’s last Wednesday, I thought I was on the upswing. I was wrong. Yesterday I walked out of work after 90 minutes. I was absolutely useless…even more so than normal. My return trip to the doctor’s office today yielded the same answer (viral infection, allergies, blah blah blah) and a similarly cranky Jared.

The kitchen was closed last night, which actually worked in my favor. I had built-in a takeout night this week and my convalescence led to an FFY night for dinner. Tonight’s dinner was actually intended for last evening.

After a week of fancy pasta, we’re back to the all-American standard durum semolina-based variety. This recipe stuck out because it includes two of my favorite things: caramelized onions and orrecchiette. I love the flavor of the first and the shape of the latter. It was one of the few pasta shapes that was fun to play with as a kid. If cooked al dente, you could press them against your tongue and get them to stick like suction cups. It’s the little things, right?

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I modified the original out of necessity. The lemon I bought on Sunday was bad. Just total mush. I guess this is to be expected given the weird winter we have had (which the doctor also blames for my current state…no winter means that the cold never had a chance to kill off the grass and tree allergens). I was also looking for some protein with tonight’s meal, hoping to gain some nutritional energy to counteract this cold, thus the white beans.

Did it meet with The Wife’s approval? After three bowlfuls, I would say yes.

Orrecchiette with sugar snap peas and caramelized onions
Modified from Bon Appetit

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 15 oz. can Great Northern beans
  • 10-12 oz. orecchiette
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions. Sauté until onions are pale golden, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; sauté onions until tender and deep golden, about 10 minutes longer. Add peas and beans to onions in skillet. Sauté until peas are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

Add pasta and 1/2 cup cooking liquid to onion mixture; stir over medium-high heat 30 seconds. Mix in ricotta, adding more cooking liquid to moisten as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

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