Lemon zest, mint, black pepper and crushed red pepper all punch up the flavors of this vegetarian pasta from Ignacio Mattos of Café Altro Paradiso in New York City. To pair, Thomas Carter suggests the ultra-minerally Pietramarina white, from Benanti on Sicily’s Mount Etna.
Slideshow: Spaghetti Recipes
1 pound busiate or other corkscrew pasta
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces brussels sprouts, thinly sliced on a mandoline (6 cups)
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup chopped mint, plus more for garnish
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for garnish
How to Make It
In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the busiate until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water. Wipe out the pot.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the oil and cook until the brussels sprouts are lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the ricotta, lemon zest and crushed red pepper and season with salt and black pepper.
Return the pasta and pasta water to the pot. Add the brussels sprout mixture, the remaining ¼ cup of oil and the 1/4 cup of mint and toss until a sauce forms, 2 minutes. Garnish with black pepper, pecorino and mint and serve.
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Review Body: Everything was great until I added the two cups of pasta water. I don't know if it was a typo, but it diluted the flavor of the brussel sprout mixture dramatically. I had to add uncomfortable amounts of salt to the dish to compensate. I also don't understand why ricotta is even used here if the quantity is so small that the 2 cups of water will overwhelm both the flavor and texture. It seems like cream would accomplish something similar. The pecorino definitely saves this dish, but I don't think I need to make this again.