Friday, June 15, 2012

Linguine with Peas, Garlic and Ricotta Salata – #2 Alice Waters

When I went to Mary’s One Perfect Bite blog to see what she cooked from the second of the Fifty Most Influential Women in Food, I found a pasta dish from Alice Waters and thought “crap, pasta on the grill.”  Then I remembered an oven-baked birds nest pasta dish Bev once had at The Acropolis in Chattanooga and the little light bulbs went off saying you can do this.  We began the evening’s adventure with an aperitif of Prosecco given to us by daughter Wende.

Since I knew cooking the pasta on the grill would dry it out, I decided it needed more of a sauce than the recipe would provide so I used the oil left in the pan to make simple cheese sauce (béchamel plus ¼ cup of parmesan and two slices of provolone).  I also used only half as much pasta - check Mary’s site for her recipe and photos.

Linguine with Peas, Garlic and Ricotta Salata - Adapted from One Perfect Bite - Three servings

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh baby peas (1 pound unshelled)
1/2 pound linguine
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 ounces)
Cheese sauce - see above


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until very soft and golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the marjoram.
2. In a large pan of boiling salted water, blanch peas in a strainer until just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer peas to a bowl.

3. Add the linguine to pan and boil until al dente. Drain linguine, reserving 1/4 cup of cooking water. Return pasta to skillet and toss with garlic oil, and reserved pasta water.

4. While pasta is cooking, preheat grill and spray a grill pan with cooking spray.
5. Using tongs, remove pasta from the skillet and make swirled piles with a well on the grill pan and season with S&P. 

6. Add the peas to the skillet for a quick toss in the garlic oil then add them to the wells in the pasta and top with the feta cheese.

7. I had some romaine to grill that I topped with caesar dressing, some chopped anchovies, and parmesan - the first shot is everything headed for the grill.  Set the pan on the grill over indirect heat, close lid, and cook until pasta begins so get a little browned. 

8. While this cooks, add butter to the oil in the skillet (if needed) to get 1 T. then stir in 1 T. flour to make a white roux.
9. Whisk in 1 cups of warm milk and boil until thickened.  Stir in the cheeses and keep warm.
10. Plate the nests, top with the sauce and serve.

We served it with a nice Pinot Griggio from our Wall Street Journal Wine Club shipment.

I thought it turned out pretty good, maybe not company quality, but still a decent adaptation.  Of course my two non-feta loving dining partners, who didn’t get near as much on theirs as I did, thought it needed more flavor.  Bev seems to only be able to taste spicy these days and Pat has a very limited range of acceptability, so I’ll go with my opinion on this J.  Now it's on to the next cook on Mary's list and I hope it's not soup. 
All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago:  A Lake Cookout

Two years ago: Leftover Pork Tenderloin Version 3


6/5/12 meal date


  1. I would have said no way to pasta on the grill, but knowing your grilling skills I would think everything would be fine and of course it was. Love the birds nests Larry.

  2. We've become very fond of Prosecco and will purchase it most times over champagne. I can't believe you grilled pasta! But it sure turned into a beautiful meal. And I'm sure if soup is next on the docket, that little light will turn on and we'll see a fine creation.

  3. I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!!! You just cooked pasta on the grill!! And not boiled it in a pot on the grill.. you grilled it!! I'm so impressed, Larry, I don't even know what else to say!!

  4. now that is one thing I would have never tried - so good to read of your doings... just great and it turned out well I think too... nice pics

  5. Now I have seen everything...

    Not the grilled pasta, as you explained it, makes total sense. But Larry, it is just hard to picture you saying "béchamel"

    But now I am wondering if a carbonara sauce might work better for grilled pasta.

    BTW, Mary's blog and this series is/was one of my favorite reads last year. Terrific to see these adaptations of other blogger's work.


  6. Hmmmm, would never have thought of putting pasta on the grill but it does sound interesting. I like pan fried noodles that get very crispy but they don't dry out. The grilled romaine sounds delicious, and the birds nests do as well.

  7. Looks delicious, Larry... I'm like you... I'd add the cheese sauce also. YUM---your pictures make me hungry!!!!

    Have a great weekend.

  8. I am amazed that you were able to do this on the grill, Larry. It really looks good. Have a wonderful evening.Blessings...Mary

  9. Larry, Grilled pasta! Now I've heard everything... Then of course, I like peas, pasta and feta cheese. Sounds good to me! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  10. It looks really good Larry. I would never have thought that pasta could be grilled, so great job!
    I really enjoyed Mary's posts too-lots of great food.

  11. Grilled pasta, huh? I guess I'll have to grill ice cream to top that ;)

  12. I can't believe how creative you are with dishes created on your grill. I can see that I am very conservative.

  13. I think it looks really delicious and so creative. I would never have thought to grill pasta.


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