Pappardelle with Leeks, Sugar Snap Peas, and Lemon

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

The delicate flavor of leeks provides the perfect flavor base for a spring vegetable pasta. A generous amount of fresh lemon zest and black pepper elevates the dish.


  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ½ stick unsalted butter

  • 2 medium leeks (white and pale-green parts only), cut into thin half-moons and rinsed well

  • 2 lemons

  • ½ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise (optional)

  • ¾ pound dried pappardelle or other flat egg noodles

  • ½ cup fresh ricotta cheese

  • 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (¾ cup)


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Divide among 4 bowls, and top with remaining grated cheese.


Cook's Notes

Work with whatever is in your crisper: You can substitute asparagus or green beans for the sugar snap peas. Even frozen peas will do.

Cook's Notes

Make your pasta pot work overtime: Before adding the noodles, blanch your crunchy vegetables in the boiling salted water.

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