Here’s a recipe to celebrate the arrival of spring and its bounty of tender, sweet vegetables. It features a power lineup of baby spinach, peas, and fresh mint that fills the plate with a garden’s worth of green. The trio is tossed into al dente penne pasta and coated in a rich sauce that has both Parmesan and ricotta cheeses. If you love dishes that are wholesome and produce-heavy but with a comforting twist, this one is sure to be right up your alley.
Produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybean.
Wash and dry all produce. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Halve onion; peel and dice one half (use the other as you like). Zest 2 tsp zest from lemon, then cut into quarters. Finely mince garlic. Pick half the mint leaves from stems and finely chop (save the rest for garnish).
Once water is boiling, add penne to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Scoop out and reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain penne. Meanwhile, stir together chopped mint, half the lemon zest, 1 TBSP olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.
Melt 1 TBSP butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, tossing, until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add 1 TBSP olive oil, spinach, and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring, until spinach is just wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in peas and mint pesto and cook until peas are warmed through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
While onion cooks, place ⅓ cup pasta cooking water, ricotta, and half the Parmesan in another small bowl and stir until well combined.
Once veggies are done cooking, add drained penne and ricotta mixture to pan. Gently stir until combined and warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. TIP: The sauce should have a loose, creamy consistency. If very stiff or thick, add more pasta cooking water. If watery, let simmer until thickened—no more than a minute or two.
Divide pasta mixture between bowls, then squeeze a lemon quarter over each. Pick remaining mint leaves from stems and roughly chop, then sprinkle over pasta. Garnish with remaining Parmesan and lemon zest. TIP: Serve remaining lemon on the side and squeeze over for extra citrus flavor.