There are sounds and aromas that remind me of specific times of year. Sleigh bells and church bells remind me of winter and the holidays, apples and hay remind me of Autumn, and barbecues, coconut and salt water make me reminisce of summertime on the coast of Southern Maine. But – memories of Spring are reserved for The County. Recollections of a wood stove warmed kitchen, my Gram’s strawberry jam on homemade toast for breakfast and new peas, potatoes, churned butter and cream as a side at dinner.
This recipe reminds me a lot of that taste and her kitchen. While I still love the old recipe, eating the ton of butter and cream every meal isn’t an option for me most nights (once in a while though!). Spring Pea and Ricotta Mash is a slightly healthier version, and something even your picky eaters will enjoy. Lactose allergic folks can omit the cheeses and still have a fabulous dish. For an even lower calorie/healthier option, use coconut oil and skim ricotta.
- 2.25 cups peas, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 4 Tablespoons bacon, chopped small
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons parmesan, grated
- 2 Tablespoons red onion, finely diced
- 1.5 Tablespoons basil, fresh, minced
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- .5 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook peas in boiling water, until just tender (5-10 minutes). Drain thoroughly. Separate 1 cup and set aside. With the remaining peas, use a fork and mash them well.
- Cook bacon in a small saute pan until crisp. Remove bacon with a fork or slotted spoon and allow to drain on paper towels. Cook the red onion in the bacon fat over medium low heat until soft. Remove and drain.
- Add basil, onion, lemon juice and garlic to mashed peas. Stir in whole peas and mix well. Fold in ricotta and bacon.
- Place in an ovenproof dish and warm in moderate oven until heated through, about 8-12 minutes.