Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pasta...Peas...Prosciutto...Popsicles!

I made this for dinner last night. I made the popsicles Sunday evening and we all shared one for dessert.

The dinner: Maggie approved
The popsicles: Jury's still out. At first she was not a fan, but by the end she was grabbing it and trying to eat it by herself.

Creamy shells with Peas and Prosciutto
Source: America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesean cheese, grated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
salt and pepper, to your taste
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 white onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced (I used 3 because we Schlottys are garlic FANS)
1 pound small pasta shells
2 cups frozen peas
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1.Bring water to a boil in a large pot for shells. While that is starting, begin to combine the ricotta, Parmesan, butter, and around 1/4 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper in bowl large enough to hold the pasta. Mix together until the salt and pepper are distributed evenly and the butter has mostly been broken up.

2.Cook the prosciutto and oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it is well browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Saving the drippings in the skillet, transfer the prosciutto to a paper towel plate with a slotted spoon.

3.Add onion to oil in skillet and cook over medium heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until its just beginning to turn golden. Stir the onion and garlic into the ricotta mix.

4.When the water is boiling, stir in salt for flavor and then add the shells. Cook, stirring often, until the shells are al dente; almost tender but still a little firm to the bite. Add the peas during the final 30 seconds of cooking.

5.Reserve around a cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain the shells and peas. Whisk the lemon juice into the ricotta mix until smooth. All the shells and peas and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If needed, add small amounts of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce Sprinkle the crisp prosciutto over the pasta and enjoy.

Banana Pineapple Popsicles
Source: Craft Magazine Blog

6 oz (3/4 cup) fresh squeezed orange juice
8 oz chopped fresh pineapple or frozen fresh pineapple
6 oz peeled and sliced banana; about 1 medium banana
4-6 oz plain or Greek-style yogurt

Puree all of the above and pour into popsicle molds. If you do not have popsicle molds, the recipe features instructions for using dixie cups.
NOTE: This recipe makes a LOT of popsicles - my estimate is 3 popsicle molds worth. My popsicle mold makes 4 popsicles - when I make these again, I will probably make 1/3 of this recipe.

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