Spring Fiddlehead Pasta

Here's a dish that turns a modest amount of fiddlehead ferns into a meal (or a nice first course). Ricotta, butter and some of the starchy[ pasta-cooking water make a creamy sauce. Lemon and pepper give all that richness a little pizzazz. If you have a chunk of sharp pecorino on hand, pass it with a grater at the table.]

Total Time:
20 min
Prep:
5 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups fiddlehead ferns
Directions
  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until very al dente, about 9 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.

  • Combine the ricotta, lemon zest and a few grinds of black pepper in small bowl and set aside.

  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter begins to foam, add the fiddleheads and sprinkle with pepper and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring gently, until the fiddleheads are crisp-tender and caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the fiddleheads to a bowl. Add the lemon juice, cooked pasta and reserved water to the skillet and return to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens slightly and the pasta is al dente. Add the ricotta mixture and lightly toss until the pasta is just coated.

  • Divide the pasta among 4 bowls and top with the fiddleheads and a few grinds of black pepper.

  • Copyright 2014 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.


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