- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 2 medium leeks (white and pale-green parts only), cut into thin half-moons and rinsed well
- 2 lemons
- 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise (optional)
- 3/4 pound dried pappardelle or other flat egg noodles
- 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (3/4 cup)
- While bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and a pinch of salt; cook until leeks begin to soften and are bright in color, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 5 more minutes. Turn off heat. Finely grate zest of lemons directly into skillet, and season generously with pepper.
- When water boils, add sugar snap peas to boiling water, and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes. Transfer peas to a plate using a strainer.
- Add pasta to boiling water, and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes (do not drain water). Transfer pasta to skillet using the strainer. Add sugar snap peas. Gradually stir in 1 cup pasta water, about 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with ricotta and half the Pecorino and tossing until pasta is coated and sauce is creamy.
- Divide among 4 bowls, and top with remaining grated cheese.
Work with whatever is in your crisper: You can substitute asparagus or green beans for the sugar snap peas. Even frozen peas will do.