Lemony Spaghetti with Peas and Ricotta
4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup good quality fresh ricotta
2 heaping tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, divided
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 pound dry spaghetti
1 large or 3 small spring onion bulbs, tough outer layers removed and the rest halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil while you proceed with the recipe.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the Panko, and stir constantly for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl, and set aside. Wipe the skillet clean.
In another small bowl, stir the ricotta, 1 heaping tablespoon of the lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice together . Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and set your timer for 2 minutes less than the recommended time . Cook the spaghetti uncovered in vigorously boiling water. When done, it should be cooked, but still firm in the middle. Scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta water for the sauce, and drain in a colander.
While the pasta cooks, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in the same large skillet used to toast the breadcrumbs. Add the spring onions, and cook, stirring often, for 6 to 7 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons lemon juice, the remaining 1 tablespoons lemon zest, the chicken stock and the peas. Cook, stirring often for 1 to 2 minutes or until the peas are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Reduce the heat to low. With tongs, transfer the cooked spaghetti and 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the skillet. Toss until hot, adding more pasta water if necessary until the pasta is coated with sauce. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
Divide the spaghetti among four pasta bowls. Dollop spoonfuls of the ricotta over the pasta, and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and parsley.