bowties-with-sugar-snaps-lemon-and-ricotta Recipes

bowties with sugar snaps, lemon and ricotta

So, I didn’t really know how to tell you this earlier, but we’ve gone to roam. I mean, we are in Rome, here, for a week and a half. Why so long? Why Rome? Does it even matter? The itch for travel that was more than an overnight book trip to one city or another was intense, as I remember a time pre-kid when we used to go places all of the time, just following the promise of cheap airfare passable-enough hotels to Vienna and Prague and Paris, just because. But we were scared of travelling with a three year-old because I don’t want to wreck the reputation of the one that’s been assigned to us, but you see, as normal as this makes him, he doesn’t always listen. Sometimes he yells? He’s not so good at airplanes. Or fancy restaurants. But I knew there would be a point where the inconveniences incurred by travelling with a preschooler would feel less of a burden than spending another minute taking a serious family vacation somewhere we’ve always wanted to study up close, to linger in long enough that it might almost feel routine after a few days, and here we are. At last.

places a three year-old will lead youwhy would you eat lunch if you could run, run, run?the only tourist-free view is upone of the many hideous alleys of rome
vroooomsweet feet and a dapper jacket just this old building in our 'hoodespresso granita, unsweetened cream

My obsession with travel, and finding a way to do more of it again, is more of a desire to do things that take me out of my comfort zone. I like studying the way people walk or talk, or even take their coffee, in other places, and I like trying to figure out why. I like learning that everything I thought I knew about something (currently: pizza; soon, hopefully: everything else) was wrong. And I like being far enough away from home that even figuring out small things, like where we might buy some milk, or what all those buttons on the washing machine do (just cross your fingers we did it right, okay?), requires full concentration and at least one furrowed brow. Because while I’m having my mind bent by maps with streets that have no name, or streets that have names but aren’t on maps, things that plagued my brain earlier are neglected, and when revisited, have found a way of readjusting themselves into really no longer a big deal. How could they be, in the bigger realm of things? How could they be, in a place with “alleys” so stunning?

sugar snaps, get extra for cook's snacks

sweet, sweet, crunchy sugar snaps
get your stuff ready
cut the sugar snaps into segments
toss, toss, toss the pasta

I’ve barely been here five days but it’s already clear that the pasta I made us before we left has at least two ingredients too many by Roman standards, although it is no less delicious with them. Roman food is simple, minimal yet a little loud; a plate arrives with something that looks so one-note, you think, “this? nah.” And then you try it and wonder why you’ve ever previously bothered making or eating anything so complicated. This, too, is a principle I’m eager to reabsorb, and I’m pretty stoked that I have 16, or 23, if you give gelato its respect due, meals left to still do this.

bowties with sugar snaps, ricotta and lemon

And now, you! Where are you going, if anywhere, this summer and what can’t you wait to eat when you get there?

Instagram: I am kind of an Instagram junkie, by the way, and if you’re interested, you can check out more of-the-moment impressions over here.

NYC Sur La Table Class: Next Monday, June 24th, I’ll be teaching a one-time-only cooking class at Sur La Table’s Hell’s Kitchen location from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Together, we’ll make four recipes from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Tickets can be purchased online. I’d so love it if we could finally hang out! [Updated to add this on 6/17 because my brain has been in una nuvola Roma [in a Roman cloud] the last few weeks and I’d all but forgotten to mention it.] [Updated again 6/18 to say that the tickets are sold out. So sorry for being a tease. I promise to look into more classes like this in the future.]

One year ago: Broccoli Parmesan Fritters
Two years ago: Dobos Torte
Three years ago: Lamb Chops with Pistachio Tapenade and Strawberry-Ricotta Graham Tartlets
Four years ago: Pickled Sugar Snap Peas and Springy Fluffy Marshmallows
Five years ago: Breakfast Apricot Crisp and Dead Simple Slaw
Six years ago: Spring Vegetable Stew and Gateau De Crepes

Bowties with Sugar Snaps, Ricotta and Lemon

As sugar snap season comes and goes all to quickly for my addicted tastes, consider this a template for any green vegetable — segments of asparagus, green beans, snow pea pods, or whole sweet peas — that you think might enjoy some lemon/ricotta/parmesan/salt/pepper treatment. Most of these other vegetables will benefit from 2 to 3 minutes boiling time, so add them earlier in the pasta cooking process.

For a more wintery riff on a lazy weeknight it’s-not-unhealthy-because-it’s-got-lotsa-green-stuff-in-it vegetable pasta dish, there’s this garlic-punched favorite.

Serves 4 to 6 (main course-style), up to 8 as a first course

Salt for pasta water
1 pound sugar snaps
1 pound dried pasta bowties
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) finely grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
Glug, then drizzle, of olive oil
Coarse or fine sea salt for sprinkling
Ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
Few leaves of mint, slivered
1 cup ricotta; use fresh if you can find or have motivation to make it

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil. While waiting, string sugar snaps and cut into 1/2-inch segments. Cook bowties for two minutes less than the suggested cooking time on the package, then add sugar snaps to pasta. Cook for one minute more. Reserve one cup pasta cooking water, then drain sugar snaps and bowties. Add them back to the empty pot with 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, grated cheese, a glug of olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook on high for one minute, tossing constantly. Add a splash more cooking water if pasta looks too dry. Turn heat off, dollop ricotta all over in large spoonfuls and, without stirring, tip pasta mixture into a wide serving bowl. (I do this because I love the idea of finding slightly unmixed pockets of ricotta.) Drizzle pasta with a small amount of olive oil, then squeeze lemon juice over the whole dish, sprinkle with mint, and finish with an extra sprinkling of parmesan. Serve quickly; eat happily.

(Lemon juice, rather rudely, discolors green vegetables so be sure to add this only right before serving, and when it will be eaten before anyone will care.)

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312 comments on bowties with sugar snaps, lemon and ricotta

  1. Michelle S.

    This looks so good–and easy! I love quick summer dinners.

    I went to Hong Kong earlier this spring, and real ramen with thick pork broth was on the top of my to-eat list. If only I could find it here in the American south (and even if I went to a big city, I’m sure it would cost quite a bit more than it did in HK). We balso went to a very nice Italian restaurant and had burrata ravioli that was so amazing it cannot be described. I almost cried it was so good. Now I’m hungry!

  2. Katie

    This looks so good, and yes, I can see using just about any green veg in it. Yum.

    As for my summer plans? Hoping to go to the Hamptons for the 4th (yeah, I know, me and half of NYC, but I’m not a NYer) and gorge on whatever fresh produce I can get from the farm stands, especially corn. Oh, and ice cream, preferably peach or black raspberry (or both!) from the Candy Kitchen.

  3. Jeri Lynn

    Your trip sounds lovely! We don’t have any big travel plans this summer, but thank you for posting this recipe–now I know what’s for dinner tonight!

  4. The pasta looks delicious – I’m always kind of lost when it comes to using sugar snaps, and this looks like an awesome way to use them! And there’s just no place like Rome, one of my favorite cities! Amazing food, too! ;)

  5. Italians v.v.v tolerant of boy children (bit sexist in that regard) – lots of lovely hidden food markets – my fav is behind the FAO building, up a very steep hill – hope you have a lovely time

  6. That pasta looks delicious. I’m going to have to put it on my to-do list. I’d love to visit Rome one day. For now my summer vacations are spent at my in-laws lakehouse in lake of the ozarks. Which I’m pretty content with!

  7. YUM! One of my favorite quick weeknight meals is similar to this. Pasta with ricotta, lemon, parmesan, olive oil, black pepper, and then whatever vegetable I have on hand. Definitely jealous of your travels! I haven’t been to Rome in years. I still remember the awe I first felt when I laid eyes upon the Colosseum.

  8. Tanya

    Ahh Rome, my favorite city!! Go to the Piazza Navona and there is a restaurant there (can’t remember the name – sorry!!) that sells tartufo – it will rock your world.

  9. Ale

    Wow, so we will be in Rome at the same time! I am leaving the day after tomorrow with husband and kids. I am Italian, love and know the city very well. If you need any tips, let me know! (On the washing machines too… I miss European washing technology here in the US where you only get the options “cold, warm, hot”… Seriously???).
    Also, please tell us about the pizza… I am very curious!!!
    Buon divertimento!

  10. I LOVE to travel. I’ve been to four different continents, soon to be five. I’m heading to China in September.

    As far as the food I want to try, I guess just authentic Chinese food. I’m always a little leary of trying food in other countries. I was very pleased with the food in Italy. I has something there that I have no clue what the name was and the explanation made no sense to me, but it was wonderful!! I’m thinking it might have been Gnocchi in a wonderful cream sauce. I still think about that meal!!

  11. Sarah

    Come visit me in Florence! I’ll be happy to show you our fave spots for adults with preschoolers – we’re part of that crowd too – it’s how we roll!

    Have an amazing time in Rome -eat lots of cacio & pepe, amatriciana, gelato at giolitti and granita del caffe at La Tazza d’oro (caddy corner to the Pantheon). Too many suggestions to list in just this one post…

  12. Kelly

    I love your blog! If you haven’t left Prague yet- please try the honey cake there , and make a recipe for one of your posts! I’ll be waiting ;) enjoy!

  13. Have a great trip! I’m with you on the fear of traveling that far with a toddler, but it looks like it has worked out great so far! I bet you are eating some delicious foods – you should make another post about what you’ve had. How much gelato can one family consume in a week and a half? :)

  14. Kat

    Barcelona! My husband has family there, and we’re both Spanish historians, so we make the trip with frequency. Picking just one thing to eat is tough, but I think I’m most looking forward to a visit to my favorite locals bar where I can eat my fill of Navajas a la plancha (grilled razor clams). After that, we’ll walk home along the boardwalk with cones of greek yogurt ice cream. YUM.

  15. I’ve been itching to travel somewhere again soon! Rome was a great city and the food was so amazing. I would love to go back.

    As for the pasta, yum! Looks really nice and summery.

  16. Katie

    Actually I flew in to NYC from Australia right at the start of your summer! (home now – sigh). I was dreaming of proper New York bagels and they became absolutely my favourite breakfast, although I didn’t get the full experience I’m sure as I don’t have a taste for lox. Knishes and pastrami sandwiches joined my delicious tastebud party and that was just on East Houston! I hope that when you get home, even in your Rome-flavours euphoria, you remember what an amazing city for eating you have right on your doorstep. Because from an outsider’s perspective? Utterly unique, utter heaven.

  17. Kelly

    Oops – upon re-reading your entry- I see it’s only Rome! By brain was overpowered with the possibility I could get the elusive honey cake recipe ;) The light creamy texture of it has made me remember it for years!!!

  18. Mary K.

    Oh, have the most wonderful time! Looks like you already are. I had a similar pasta revelation during a trip to Rome. I also felt free to stop trying to force whole-wheat pasta into dishes it just doesn’t belong in after coming back from Italy.

    Da Remo in Testaccio was my favorite pizza! Rachel Eats has a great guide to that charming little hood.

  19. Kris

    This is going on the dinner menu immediately. Thank you for quick and simple; this humble college student appreciates it.

    We’re probably heading to Chicago this summer to visit my recently-discovered family. (Loooooonnng story.) While we’re there, I intend on introducing my husband to all of the delicious crap I loved when I was five – Italian beef sandwiches, real Chicago style pizza, the most wonderful dive hamburger stand on the planet, etc. Hopefully he won’t die of greasy indigestion.

  20. Becky

    Ah! Rome! Wonderful! My stepson spent three days this week in Rome with his grandma on a mini-vacation.

    We are hoping to travel to NYC in August. Neither of us have ever been before. I want to eat delicious food, visit museums and walk until my feet burn. Any suggestions?

  21. Anything made with riccota is a winner in my book and this salad looks just perfect. Have a blast in Rome – you certainly deserve a vacay after the crazy year you’ve had! We’re headed to Maine for a week in August. Sebago Lake is our destination with the intent of eating a shitload of lobster and whoopie pies. The way life should be, right? ;)

  22. Noemi

    My husband and I are going to Paris this August! We are spending six days there and we are so excited. This will be our first overseas trip together, and one we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Personally, I can’t wait for a simple meal of bread and cheese, and some delicious Parisian pastries!

  23. Julie

    This looks so springy and delicious. And I had no idea that lemon alters the coloring of green vegetables, either I’ve been lucky enough to avoid it, or more likely (since I cook with lemon and veggies too often) it’s gone unnoticed due to wine and food scarfing.

    We’ve already been to Mexico for our honeymoon this year, so our summer plans are as typical as a Philadelphian’s can get-a few days down the Jersey shore. I’m excited for sangria, cold beers, and seafood feasts. Maybe a crabbing excursion if I can convince my husband and friends to leave the boardwalk.

  24. Angie B.

    All my favorite things in one dish–I can’t wait to make this! Have fun in Rome! I’m my experience, you do have to be willing to just roam and realize that the maps will not always get you where you want to be. In an effort to find the Pantheon, we wandering the alleys for quite a while (though not a bad place to be) and kept ending up at Tivoli Fountain (also not a bad place to be). It became comical….all alleys lead to Tivoli Fountain! I was our version of “Big Ben, Parliment.” ENJOY!

  25. Adrianne

    Just got back last week from Rome, Sardinia, and Amsterdam. I hope they stamped your passports coming into Roma, because they didn’t do ours. ( I had to look up my boarding pass on the internet in the immigration office on the way back. : P)

    If you still have some unspoken for meals, this trattoria, recommended by Rachel Eats, is spectacular, and you could definitely unselfconciously bring a toddler. : )

  26. I am so thrilled to see this recipe, as my garden is exploding with snap peas right now and I was running out of different ways to use them up!
    I’m headed to my tiny hometown in Kentucky for the Independence Day weekend in a few weeks and I’m quite looking forward to the best fried chicken, granny’s frozen fruit salad, and lots of sweet tea.

  27. This dish looks lovely, I like the addition of lemon at the end.
    My trip for this summer is going out to Cutchogue, NY, getting married, and then heading down to Costa Rica for a week and a half! To say I’m excited about it all is an understatement. We were originally thinking somewhere in Europe, but thought July might be too hot. I’m sure the weather in Rome this time of year is beautiful!

  28. NicM

    Oh so jealous! We’re saving up for a trip to Italy next year. This year it’s a big group trip to the Ocracoke Island, NC in September. My peas will be ready soon and this looks like a great recipe to use them in.

  29. Hazel

    I’m going to New York to visit my sister. I am SO excited to eat everything. Esp. picnics in Central Park and a million pizzas. xox.

  30. Love Rome :) Love Italy in general really. Was there last summer for my 4th visit to see extended family and explore more of the smaller towns instead of the big cities. This summer is more low key, long weekend trips to California and Maine. Very much looking forward to the quintessential lobster bake in Maine :)
    Just recently splurged on some fresh made ricotta and now refuse to go back to the commercial kind. I haven’t been able to part with it besides eating it straight up with some fruit and honey but this pasta seems perfect!

  31. nan

    I’m green with envy! We’ve been planning a trip back to Rome for two years…a bathroom remodel took the travel fund so we’re still planning!! Have fun, eat your weight in gelato, it would be rude not to!

  32. Emily

    How easy and delish! Adding to my grocery list for tomorrow…and done. As for travels, already done Vegas and doing San Fran in the fall, but I’m very excited for Chicago in late August. My boyfriend is from there (and we might move back) so it’s really a chance to get to know this city (read: food) that he loves. Personally, it’s the hot dogs I’m waiting for. But bring it all on. Happy travels!

  33. Rachel

    I was just in Rome! I’m in Genoa now, eating all the pesto, focaccia, and farinata I can stuff in my face. Enjoy Roma!

  34. JW

    What a great way to think about travel inconveniences as adventures that give your brain time to sort out back home things.

    As for us, we’ll be cruising this summer which I’m told requires no furrowed brows or inconveniences, but we’ll be back to struggling with maps soon.

    If you want to travel with kids, you really have to check out! There’s no need to cut your traveling down just because you have little ones. And I don’t mean that in a “the kidless have to deal with my brat because I get to do what I want” or a “drag the bored out of his skull kiddo from place to place because I do what I want” kind of way. It’s for thoughtful parents who want to experience the world with their families.

  35. Next week I am taking all the kids and grandkids to Yellowstone for a week. I haven’t decided what we are going to eat yet, thought that perhaps wandering the grocery store with my son would be the beginning of the adventure.

    Rome, I’m jealous!

  36. Anna

    Rather stupid question, I guess, but do you know the wonderful Food Blog racheleats? English girl, living in Rome, cooking food…I am addicted :)

  37. Rebecca C.

    This looks fantastic! And I love the photo of “the one assigned” to you!

    We’re going to Kenya later this summer, and I can’t wait to eat avocados. When I was there three years ago, one of my favorite things was eating avocados with just a splash of lemon juice and some salt. Delicious!

  38. Gabrielle

    I was in Italy a few weeks ago. A woman there told me that outside of city centres, one in four streets has a sign. To my experience, it seemed about right.

  39. Laura

    Deb, Eek! My husband and I are off to Italy for our first anniversary in two weeks… and you just made me even more excited! We are only spending ONE night in Rome on the way to Sicily. Can you tell us your favorite place for dinner? Grazie!

  40. My husband and I love to travel — and I agree, sometimes it feel like it doesn’t matter where or under what circumstances, it is just so good to get away. My husband I have Italy next on our list, but we will be going to France this summer.

    Simple, vegetable-based pastas are a staple for us year round! Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. I can’t wait to see some of your photos!

  41. In an unusual convergence of ideas, I made an almost identical version of this dish just two weeks ago after I found snap peas at the farmer’s market. Pasta, snap peas, pecorino, ricotta, lemon juice were all the same; I also added lemon zest from one whole lemon, giving it a citrus note without discoloring the peas.

  42. This recipe looks delicious. I think I’ll make a few substitutions to vegan-ize it.

    No trips for me this summer, but I will be going to Chile in the winter :) The best part about traveling is trying new foods.

  43. Catharine


    You don’t know me, but I promise you that if you don’t go to ROSCIOLI for dinner one night, you are missing one of the best dinners of your life. My fiance and I just got back from Rome six weeks ago and we had a delightful meal there, right next to the cheese counter. Check it out (and order the carbonara!). You should also check out Enoteca Provincia Romana. I had the most delicious artichoke pasta and local strawberries. Have a great trip!


  44. Rome sounds divine! Hope you’re enjoying a cappuccino (or a small glass of Fernet) on a sidewalk cafe, as I imagine all Romans do!

    I make a version of this all the time, usually with a little bit of bacon (what isn’t better with bacon?) and my new favorite find — goat’s milk ricotta. It’s like chevre but with the creaminess of ricotta and is AH-mazing with the lemon.

  45. Wow, a fabulous trip and amazing pictures..thanks for sharing!

    Sugar snap peas are my fave! I could eat a whole bag from TJ’s in a sitting some days. Green is good though, right!

    Your bowties are so cute. I think bowtie pasta tastes better :)

  46. From the pictures you’ve posted on Facebook (and here) it looks like your trip has been marvelous. Rome is definitely on my list of places to travel, though I don’t see that happening for a while. Who knows though, right?

    And can I just say there’s just something so satisfying about pasta and lemon and some beautiful creamy ricotta. And then the sugar snap peas thrown in allow us to call this “healthy”… at least that’s what I’ll tell myself.

  47. I can’t do the whole dairy thing, but this pasta sounds delicious even without the cheesy goodness. And this is going to make most people want to punch me in the face – but I’m actually leaving for a four month Europe trip in two weeks (!!!!!!!). I’ve been following your instagram feed and am even more excited to get to Rome. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  48. Mary

    You have described so perfectly what I love most about going to new places – everyday chores like grocery shopping or finding a broom become an adventure. There are streets to get lost in, languages to learn, customs to observe, assumptions to change, flavors to taste. I get bored and stagnant when I go too long without feeling challenged in that way. I don’t have any trips this summer, but I’m looking forward to my first trip to Africa in October – Tanzania!

  49. this summer i am off to germany, spain, france, england, and italy. oh my. a bavarian food tasting tour is booked, tapas will be eaten, as well as croissants and cheese and fish and chips and so much wine. luckily i’ll be doing lots of walking also. :) enjoy roma!

  50. JanetP

    You’re in Rome! I am seething with jealousy. Eat well.

    Speaking of eat well, this dish sounds delish. Almost sugar snap season here!

  51. This sounds like a recipe I might make myself! So nice and summery :)
    Just came back from a small vacation to San Francisco and I completely understand your need for travel beyond a quick overnighter! A favorite there is burritos in the Mission- completely satisfying and utterly delicious. Hoping to make it down to Chapel Hill, NC in the next two months to visit friends, and up to coastal Maine where some fresh blueberries will be made into some heavenly dessert.

  52. Adrianne

    We just returned from a trip to Turkey (from Oregon)with a 3.5yr old and a 12 mo. Somehow we are still alive! Favorite food is lahmacun. Turkish food is incredibly simple, too. My brother-in-law (the reason we visit Turkey) is always complaining about how complex American food is. I love enjoying the simplicity and how the flavors can really pop. Good luck on your travels back!

  53. We just got back from 2.5 weeks in Italy, of which three wonderful days were spent in Rome. Who knows if you’ll read this in time, but I highly recommend Hostaria Grappolo d’Oro (the one near Campo dei Fiori, not to be confused with another by the same name in the south of the city; both Google and Trip Advisor have them all mixed up, which is sad because the other one gets horrid reviews. for dinner. The spaghetti alla carbonara was amazing. And for gelato, check out Old Bridge by the Vatican ( We had a fabulous combo of strawberry, mango, and coconut. Have a great time!

  54. Angela

    Looks amazing and will be taken on a picnic soon. If you haven’t gone to Giolitti for gelato, it’s a must! Have a great trip and please eat some antipasti for me :)

  55. Tracy

    We went to Belgium and Germany this spring. The first meal we ate was at the Curry Wurst stand at the train station in Dusseldorf. We didn’t like Belgian food but then tried Trader Joe’s Speculoos spread after we saw the word all over Belgium and now can’t stop eating it out of the jar.

  56. Omar

    Your photos are so glorious! It makes me want to go back so bad.

    I will be traveling through Mexico this Fall with Italy on my mind for Spring.

  57. dk

    I second (or tenth) the recommendation for Giolitti Gelato. Absolutely the best. Last time we stayed in Rome the apartment we rented was around the corner. Gelato 3 times a day? Absolutely!

  58. Adrianna

    My fiance and I are moving to south China for a year to teach English this August. I’m excited for all of the new food and ingredients we’ll encounter but there’s one thing that’s at the top of my list…dumplings. Omg. I cannot wait to try actual, made in China, from scratch dumplings. Yum.

  59. Susan

    Whew!…I just checked the hand pie thread to see if the (what I read is a bot-catcher) math quiz trick was on the bottom of that thread, too. When I originally posted there, it wasn’t. When I tried to post here, I didn’t know what this thing was and it worried me so I deleted my post thinking I had some weirdo following me trying to wreck your site! E-gads! I’m such a techno-hick!

    Anyway…this recipe looks great. Have fun roaming in Rome and wherever else you wander.

    1. deb

      Susan — Sorry to freak you out! We added it a day or so after the last (hand pie) post. So, early comments didn’t get it. Only much later ones did.

      Anna — I do! I adore it. We’ve had two playdates; that Luca is a doll. ;)

      Faith — Hm. I find pastas like this where they’re tossed with pasta water to make a sauce a bit dry on the second day, plus there’s the lemon juice issue.

      Recommendations — Thank you! I think we’ve hit a bunch of those already! I finally, after 4 (5? 6? totally losing count!) days here and lifetime of artichoke obsession, had carciofi alla romana, carciofi alla judea AND a fresh spaghetti with (guess!) carciofi tonight and about died of glee. They’re now out of season so most restaurants have them off the menu. It’s prime time for fiori di zucca, however… The restaurant was Ristorante Della Campana, btw, and I think our favorite yet (of the classic Roman/not just pizza/actually no pizza at all, sort) not just because when Jacob decided to self-tour the kitchen, they all but hoisted him up on their shoulders and took turns messing with his hair.

  60. Oh, Rome is such a beautiful city. I’m jealous! But I can definitely make this perfect-looking pasta and shave a huge cloud of cheese over it as a tasty substitute. :)

  61. lemon + ricotta?! no brainer and cannot believe I haven’t tried before.

    delish, will be attempting ASAP!

    sara ||

  62. How awesome. I hope you have a fabulous time. It is a place I have always wanted to go. Now I MUST go. When it comes to simple pasta dishes, I love anything that has lemon in it. This is printed and read to make as we speak. :-)

  63. Lauren

    First time commenter, popping in to say – You and I were in Rome at the same time! I just got back. I’d recognize that caffe granita con panna anywhere! If you can, go get you some Ditirambo.

    Have a wonderful time! I am inordinately pleased that I was in my favorite food city at the same time as my favorite food blogger!

  64. Jenn

    oooh, A perfect way to use all the different veg coming in from the garden! And I am making your ricotta – so simple, love it! For travel plans, I’m visiting my hometown where I hope to fit in a visit to our local pizza joint – local/house made ingredients before it was de rigeur, and in the old firehouse stables, sans manure. Charming and yummy, a great combo. Must get to Rome one of these years, have a great time!

  65. Alyssa M.

    This looks wonderful! I love pasta, cheese, and veggies in any form. I am so jealous that you are in Italy! I hope to one day make it over to Europe but it seems impossible at the moment. This summer we’re traveling to coastal Maine for a wedding and I am so excited! I’ve never been- I am looking forward to eating lots of lobster and soaking in the scenery that is going to be so very different from Florida.

  66. Adriane

    I’m headed to Montreal in just over a week and am excited to eat so many things there; my list of foods to try and places to go is much too long for the four days I will be there. Immediately after that I’m headed to the west coast of Michigan and cannot wait to indulge in freshly caught fish and port made with local cherries.

  67. CarolJ

    Roman pasta dishes – I give silent thanks to you often for your cacio e pepe recipe, a dish we learned to love in Rome and which – grazie a Lei – I feel I have really nailed.

    Gelato – The best we found was at

    Can’t wait to read future posts inspired by your Roman adventures!

  68. This looks delicious! I have a similar recipe I love to make that is with french green beans and ricotta and lemon. It’s so good and light and simple and comforting and omg I think I need to make this for dinner…

  69. Jane

    We live in Australia, and we are off to Europe in two weeks! Week in London, Week in Paris, 9 days in Switzerland and then Italy (Florence and Rome) for a week. I’m so excited to try baguette’s and cheese and pasta and pizza and wine, lots of wine! Enjoy the rest of your trip guys, and thanks for the recommendations everyone :)

  70. Teresa

    My Sugar Snaps from the garden are almost all eaten fresh. I will have to see if I can get any to last for a cooked meal. Looks great. I loved Rome. Gelato certainly deserves many tastings! Just returned from the southwest coast of Ireland. Great seafood chowder, fish pie, mussels, seafood pasta and of course Guiness.

  71. Just got back from Rome 2 weeks ago. Took our 3 kiddos…ages 11 mo, 4, and 7 and had a great time. Biggest pleasant surprise? Going inside Castel St Angelo…fun for kids and parents! Just really neat all around.

  72. Love this pasta- extra ingredients or not, it looks perfect for a mellow summer meal. Enjoy Rome and the mind-bending-ness of travel that comes with it – I find sometimes that’s the most refreshing part!

  73. I am going to be in Italy later this summer, and I so excited to hear about your experiences in Rome (and especially what you take away from it culinary wise)!

  74. I’ve been following you on Instagram! So jealous! We miss Italy so much but my in-laws and nephews will be here in July so they will be bringing a little of Italy to us! My daughter is making her nonna bring laundry detergent! Because it reminds her of the best smell she has ever smelled and can only get in Italy!

  75. Ashley

    There is a coffee shop in one of those beautiful alleys, it’s called cassa and botega. It’s my favorite coffee shop in the world, the address is Via dei Coronari, 45 00186. Rome is the only international trip I’ve taken, loved it!!

  76. Tracy

    i’m traveling HOME for my vacation this summer. i live in india which is amazing and definitely a leap outside of any american’s comfort zone. (bonus: fantastic food for very little money.) but i really can’t wait to have soft vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles, a good turkey sandwich, and a baby spinach salad with goat cheese. that and all the other foods that are either really expensive here, I just can’t find, or just aren’t the same.

  77. byron

    I still remember the first sentence in a foreign language that I learned of my own volition (i.e., not for school). It was from a book that I had checked out from the library when I was six. It was “Io sono ragazza grande.” (“I am a big boy.”)

    My parents took me to Rome the following summer. It was so much fun. And the food!

    I wonder what Jacob thinks of the place :-)

  78. This looks incredible. I am way jealous of your trip. I’m stuck at home completing grad school and just drooling over your pics. Going to make this tomorrow – totally do-able, even during finals.

  79. Kat

    I would love to see the Smitten Guide to Rome. I am in the very early stage of planning a month living la dolce vita in Italy next year, but Rome is confusing me – I can’t even narrow down a neighborhood to stay in, not to mention all the possibilities for eating and sight seeing. Please help a girl out!

  80. I’m glad you’re enjoying my country, Italy. Rome is such a beautiful and inspiring city! Plus you’ll have the chance to try out real Italian food and I’m sure you’ll be blown away by it! Have fun during your vacation and thanks for this recipe!

    xo, Elisa

  81. Deb–If you make it to Paris this trip, let me direct you to a couple, very French (Auvergne country fare)–and toddler friendly (meat and frites)–places. And of course you’ll visit E. Dehillerin, right? Rome sounds wonderful; never been (yet). Bologna is my turf. Safe travels!

  82. Chelsea

    Hi Deb – I’m a longtime fan and I actually moved to Rome 14 months ago for work! Let me know if you need restaurant recommendations or anything, though I’m sure you’ve already got a list with more places to visit than you’ll have time for. Also, have you been checking out Katie Parla’s food blog? She is based in Rome and has a lot of great advice. Enjoy your time in Rome!

  83. Kate

    Wow…Rome…I can only dream…

    I look at dishes like this and dream of making them. Right now I’m 15 weeks pregnant and still dealing with morning sickness so I dream of all the food I’m going to make when I can stand to eat and cook again. Once I’m feeling better we’ve talked about going to NJ or MD to the beach for a long weekend but no big travel plans in our future. I can’t wait for a great slice of pizza followed up by ice cream on the boardwalk. :)

  84. Pam

    I will be making this at our local so cal beach stay-cation! I was just making pizza the other day and lamenting about how thin and bubbly and crunchy the pizza crust was in Italy. Please let us know when you figure out how they do it!

  85. Marion

    Great recipe, green makes it ! In july I’m going to Forte dei Marmi, can’t wait to be there, I love their food…

  86. Do not miss eating fried artichokes at Piperno, puntarella, granita or pizza al taglio (by the measurement). We hired a guide for a couple of half days and it made a huge difference for our kids – we all learned a lot more and it was at our pace. Nothing like needing a potty break in the middle of the colosseum and having someone to get you there pronto!

  87. I love the way you’ve captured perfectly the reason for traveling. And Rome. Sigh. Can’t wait to go back one of these days. What a city! Enjoy!

  88. If you are still in Rome, go to Il Portico in the Jewish ghetto and order spaghetti cacio e pepe. At lunch time, go to Cacio e Pepe (featured by Anthony Bourdain) where you can get half portions so you can try twice as many delicious things. Buon viaggio!

  89. Noreen

    Thank you for taking me back to the best time in my life. My husband and I traveled through Italy 9 years ago. Life changing experience for me. Beautiful people, incredible food, once in a lifetime experiences. Unforgettable. Treasure every minute.

  90. Petra

    Just love your honest and genuine view on life and LIVING! And LOVE this recipe! Will go to farmer’s market this morning for peas and hopefully fresh ricotta. Travelling with a pre-schooler will get easier…congrats on taking the plunge. When our oldest was 3, we could travel no farther than the distance it took to hurry back home in time for Claire to use the “potty.” This usually meant 10 r/t miles at best! Gradually, a totable, inflatable potty got us from Chicago back to NYC and Hamptons one summer. Soon after that and against my own beliefs, I became of the Queen of bribes. It worked! You are a doll Deb. Enjoy every moment in Roma! Our recent trip to Paris fulfilled my culinary desires for espresso, ganache, bread, macarons (not macaroons), wine, cheeses and so much more. Like you, loved watching locals…mesmerizing much like Roma.

  91. Rome is my favorite city even though we travel quite a bit to Tuscany (I have family there). I just posted yesterday about how much I miss Rome and the zucchini blossoms. We’ve always traveled with our children who are now 8 and 11. I can’t tell you how much travel has shaped them – so keep doing that!

    We are leaving soon for Italy and decided to also take in Dublin and Prague along the way. The kids are very excited. And yes you are right about Roman Cuisine but in general Italian cuisine is simple and fresh with few ingredients. It’s more about the quality of the ingredients and letting that shine through.

  92. Hettyking

    AHHH Italy! In Venice, I had a pastry that has become the stuff of my dreams! Thin sponge layers soaked in limoncello, alternated with pistachio something, and covered with a bright green marzipan glaze! If you find anything like this, and can replicate it, you’ll be more beloved than you already are!!

    I’m a longtime reader and fan – your recipes have made me famous among my family and friends (and I always give you credit)! This summer, I’m off to visit my Peace Corps son in the Philippines where I’m hoping to find the small gelatinous rice cupcakes of my youth (lived there as a child).

    Enjoy Italy! Our favorite spot in Rome was deep inside the Borghese Gardens where your son can run around, watch roller skating displays, ride one of those big bikes while you and your husband peddle around, and relax in the shade.

  93. Your reasons for loving travel sounds eerily similar. I find that usually my favorite two things while traveling – particularly in foreign countries – are eating the local cuisine and people-watching. I try to soak up as much of the “local flair” as possible in every city I step foot in. Enjoy Roma!

  94. amanda june

    i’m going to rome this summer too! honeymooning there in just over 2 weeks. we’ll get to stay for 3 weeks…excited to get into a bit of a “rome routine” ourselves.

  95. Chelsey

    This looks wonderful.And so do your pictures of Rome! I was wondering though, how much salt you personally like to add to your pasta water?

    1. deb

      Chelsey — I add a LOT, more than most people want to know about. I aim for that sea water saltiness. It helps the flavor of the whole dish from the beginning.

      Kailua — I do! In the ingredients and the directions. It is what will make or break the dish, as it’s otherwise simple and onion/garlic/spice-free.

  96. Lea

    I just got back from Puerto Rico. There I was introduced to Mofongo, which exists in various incarnations, but it’s pretty much mashed plantain stuffed with some kind of stewy protein (usually pork or seafood.) It is divine and so, so comforting.

  97. Dahlink

    I’ve never been to Rome, although we have traveled in Northern Italy on several occasions. All food tastes better while sitting on a beautiful piazza, doesn’t it?

    This summer we will travel to Australia for the first time. We are looking forward to lots of very fresh fish. I am told that crocodile tastes like chicken, but feel no compulsion to find out if that is true!

  98. JacquieKatz

    Roma, my ‘happy place’. We never had a bad meal, we loved it and I think Romans would love travelling tots. Is it too late for artichokes–in the old ghetto of Rome, artichokes are salted and fried to perfection! They are wonderful.
    Also, we just returned from 10 days in Granada, Spain in a VRBO in the Alcazar. If I had children at home, I would be exploring that option! In fact, we rented two town houses side by side for our daughter and son-in-law and for us. We all had a great time exploring and eating. Why am I going on? Because I learned to make coffee in a Moka pot. People come back raving about coffee in Spain and now I know why. It is a stove top espresso maker that works by steam pressure, but makes great coffee for those who are addicted.

  99. Lindalee Schultz

    We are on our way to Italy, well in August, but I believe that still counts as summer! One whole month of decadent eating and truly getting to know this beautifully divine country! I am making this with asparagus and basil (I am out of mint and no snow peas in Hawaii that are affordable) and simply cannot wait for the flavors to captivate my taste buds! Thank you for the lovely recipe!

  100. krollschen

    A week and a half in the Greek islands, both hot spots and little out of the way places, followed by two weeks in Athens . . . looking forward to all things Mediterranean: hummus, *real* Greek salads, moussaka, yogurt, baklava, wine, ouzo, all of it!

    Thank you for years and years of great recipes, and . . . travel on!

  101. amanda

    Hi Deb,

    Was there a block of cream cheese in the picture? Did I miss that in the recipe?

    I hope you are having a blast in Rome!

  102. Oh, Italy. I’ve been twice and can’t wait to go back again. I love the way you described travel…it is so true how the mundane worries melt away when we get out of our everyday life, do something different, and go somewhere new. Beautiful!

  103. Oh, your photos are just beautiful! And this recipe sounds so fresh and delicious.

    Digestive tract paralysis always presents me with the fantasy, “If I could eat one food today, what would it be?” From day to day the exact delicacy may change, but the food group is almost always the same: Carbs. I wouldn’t mind taking a vacation to Paris, where I might sample a crusty French baguette! But now you have me thinking that some authentic Italian pasta and gelato sounds pretty delightful! Hopefully someday that will be a possibility.

    Enjoy the rest of your Roman holiday! And should your wanderlust continue, I look forward to reading about more of your global adventures!

  104. This looks amazing. I love bowties and in fact, of all pastas, I find it the most pleasant to cook and enjoy. Thanks for this great idea with sugar snaps. Must try it soon. Enjoy Rome ~ I’m sure you’ll come back with even more fantastic recipe ideas. I could eat gelato in Rome 3-5 x a day :-)

  105. Mary Moss

    Deb! I’m going to Rome in two days!! I just looked up Ristorante Della Campana, -it’s on the list, since it’s your fave.
    And since you are probably more organized than i and generally in the know about restaurants from your cooking many compatriots, please fork over more restaurant suggestions. I haven’t had the time to look up anything food wise.
    Thank you ladies above for the other recommendations- i looked those pizza spots up too, and will try to get there.
    I’m leaving little 3 year old Rowan at home though. That flight was expensive, right?
    Maybe you were organized on that front as well and booked ahead, so it wasn’t so bad?
    Also, what have been your favorite places to visit??
    Thanks Deb!

    1. deb

      Mary Moss — The flights were a fortune, we spent ages looking for an apartment, finally found one and almost didn’t make it because of the flights. Planning earlier next time! So far, our favorite casual pizza is Baffetto and our favorite gelato is Teatro (the hazelnut, almond and chocolate-and-red wine flavors are insane). But we’ve only waded through 2/3 of our list!

      amanda — No, just a tub of ricotta and a block of pecorino.

  106. I need to travel. The travel bug is eating me alive! But I think I’m stuck working all summer, with only a week off to go to my family’s summer home in The Thousand Islands (the Canadian side, so I am leaving the country). But where do I want to go? All of Latin America. Specifically Guatamala, Venezuela, and Panama. I’d also love to go back to France. Or go to New Zealand. Or Laos. Or Thailand. Or Vietnam. So many countries, so little time.

  107. I’m currently in San Jose, Costa Rica for two long months for an internship. My food obsession here? Gallo pinto. Locals swear by a certain brand of salsa added to their rice and beans to make them heaven…. And now I swear by it too.

  108. Kelly

    Oooooh my most favourite restaurant in the world is in Rome, tiny place in Trastevere called Le Mani Pasta – absolutely worth hunting it out if you can (great artichokes if that’s an incentive).

  109. I love this formula you’ve given me! Pasta + something green + some fat + some flavor! I’m planning to do this with kale this week.

    No travel plans this summer, or really for a while except to places that can be reached within 2 hours via car. Between work, school, hubby’s work, etc., we really don’t have whole weeks off at a time anymore. However, we have big plans to go crazy when I graduate!

  110. I’m going back to Greece later this summer and then onto Berlin for a few days. Needless to say, I can’t wait for my senses to again be challenged in each and every way!

    I went to Rome a long time ago, but I definitely want to go back. I don’t feel I gave it its due the first time around. Perhaps the second time will be the charm?

  111. Kath the Cook

    This recipe looks wonderful. I just bought your cookbook today and I’m so excited! Most of the recipes that contain beans call for 1 3/4 cup of cooked – how does this translate to dried? about a cup? Looking forward to the cranberry bean salad, wild rice gratin, the potpies, and so much more. I just got a delivery from Rancho Gordo! Happy travels!

  112. Rebeca

    Oh, Italy! I have such great memories of the weeks I spent there some years ago. I didn’t make it to Rome in the end because I went to visit my then boyfriend’s family and we didn’t have enough time but, boy, what food! It was amazing watching how those women created such delicious food using a few simple ingredients.

    This year, we are planning to go to Greece, but that may not be possible. If it’s not, we’ll probably go somewhere near like Portugal. My boyfriend would happily stuff himself with the bacalhau I hate, while I would opt for other fishes, caldo verde, pastéis de nata…. Ah, September feels too far away.

  113. Megan

    This recipe is just in time for the snap peas in the garden AND the ricotta I was planning on making tomorrow! Your recipe timing is always impeccably timed for my needs! Also just returned from Rome…it’s wonderful! And if you get a chance, Gelataria del Teatro has the most amazing flavor combos (peach and lavender! fig and ricotta!), and the outdoor seating area is incredibly charming!

  114. Oh, the description of traveling with a three year old made laugh. I have a thirteen year old and remember three well. I traveled also. Vacations and getaways are important. You will have great memories.

    I will be going to Cape Cod and Long Island. I love taking my daughter to restaurants that I went to as a kid on LI and they are sprinkled all throughout the North and South forks. There are many, but this year I want to make it to Gosman’s. It’s always fun and the food is usually good.

  115. Nicola

    Hi Deb,
    Thanks for your website and cookbook — I’m such a fan. And Rome is my city…by adoption, anyway. I see you take your gelato seriously, as do I…people here are recommending the usual touristy places like Giolitti and Old Bridge but you HAVE to try Gelateria del Teatro. They just opened a branch near Ponte Sisto, so it’s very central and easy to find. Have the lemon, rosemary, and honey flavor…or fresh peach and lavender, or white chocolate and basil. It’s where Romans go for gelato, not those touristy places. Also the little gelateria on Tiber Island has the best pistachio flavor in the city, and you can eat it on the ancient bridges, on the banks of the Tiber, or by the lovely synagogue. Can’t lose. Enjoy!!

  116. I went to Rome for the first time this Spring. It was wonderful to see your photos and know the places you photographed. My biggest surprise? How wonderful the pasta was! I want to try this!

  117. Jayne

    I did this with french beans once. I love snaps way more than french beans. Which is why I must try this.We’re not having summer over here but somewhere in September, Melbourne Australia would be our short break away for a good friend’s wedding. I am looking forward to having Vietnamese pho, lamingtons, Peking duck, wagyu beef… maybe kangaroo meat? I’m crazy.

  118. we made this last night and it was delicious. the surprising thing was how creamy the ricotta got when mixed with hot pasta – it almost acted like an alfredo sauce, but much less heavy. so simple and so good. we want to try the same preparation with mushrooms and rosemary/thyme next. thanks for the great idea.

  119. Rome… Sigh…
    I got stuck there for 5 days when the icelandic volcano Eyafjedlajøkul stopped all air traffic in 2010. Not the worst place to be stuck in april!!
    Have fun! looking forward to the photos on instagram!

    ooh – and the dish looks dishy! it’s now on the sailing holiday menu, easy to make in a tiny pantry in a 31 ft sailboat!
    I might serve it with some bacon though…

  120. Krista

    This is delicious! We found some very lovely pea sprouts at our farmers market and added a whole bunch of those to the mix. (I added them when the drained pasta went back in the pot, and they seemed to cook just enough.) If anyone else finds a similar treat at their market, I’d recommend.

  121. Jillian L

    This turned out great! I halved the amount of the recipe, used fresh english peas, homemade pasta (orecchiette because I don’t have a pasta roller for the other types of pasta) and homemade ricotta from sk too (amazing ricotta, btw). The lemon and mint was a fantastic addition to all the cheese, and I noticed on one of your comments about using extra salty water, and I’m doing that from now on! I can’t believe I’ve been making homemade pasta and then not salting the water enough! The pasta tastes so much better! Thanks for sharing!

  122. Jennifer T

    “Roman food is simple, minimal yet a little loud; a plate arrives with something that looks so one-note, you think, “this? nah.” And then you try it and wonder why you’ve ever previously bothered making or eating anything so complicated.”

    YES! This. That’s exactly what I loved about Roman food. Buffalo ricotta and honey? Perfection. Cacio e pepe? Amazing.

  123. Jaydubya

    Made this last night for dinner. DIVINE! Fresh, easy, delish. Perfect! Used what I had on hand: snow pea pods, orecchiette instead of bowties. Fresh ricotta from an Uppity Grocery Store nearby. Added some red pepper flakes at the end for a little heat. Deb strikes again!!

  124. I love Rome! But I have to say that the food I had in Florence was some of the best I’ve ever had… There’s a place called Il Latini that remains my favorite meal of all time. Travels this summer include: Memphis (BBQ), Philly (Cheesesteaks), and Scotland (black pudding….seriously!)

  125. Ah, Rome is so lovely! I lived there for a little bit this year, and apparently mostly ate gelato, based on my pictures.
    A really good restaurant I ate at was La Fraschetta, on Via San Francesco a Ripa (in Trastevere). Their pasta is really tasty but the best things are their daily specials, which never alter, no matter what day. The best is the oxtail stew. And the best gelato I had was gelaterie del teatro (there’s two branches and almost every flavour I had there was incredible with the exception of the peculiar basil and white chocolate which just tasted…wet). But the rosemary, lemon and honey; pistachio; hazlenut; puro (raw unsweetened chocolate); Peach and lavender; strawberry and sparkling wine; ricotta, fig and almond are all, without exception, marvellous.

  126. Rome! How perfect. I actually just started thinking about slicing snap peas thin yesterday. And I’m learning to make ricotta on Wednesday. I’d say this recipe is perfectly timed. …How many of our comments start with “Ah, Rome!” haha…I guess we’re all romantic about it.

  127. uk twitter oozing about ‘who would have thought of peeling chickpeas for smooth hoummous, except you, oh lovely simon hopkinson’ had to say er – smitten kitchen , a few posts ago – hope you don’t mind
    personally i like mine with the skins, cos the baba ganoush and the tahina should be the creamy ones, but still….

  128. US girl in the UK

    I Love Rome. Sending you lots of sunny wishes for a lovely vacation! I’m just back from a trip to the Andalucía region of Spain. THAT is how seafood is done. Sangria? Unbelievable. Sun, seafood, sangria = heavenly. This fall I have a trip planned to Tuscany, and I can’t wait to eat there too. (Yes, I’m stationed abroad with work, currently.) BTW, any tips from you or other followers (like me!) re: must do foodie stops in Rome, Tuscany, or Italy in general? I’m particularly interested in markets, farms, tastings, and cooking schools. Thanks in advance! Enjoy!!

  129. Alexa

    The water is boiling for this now! Enjoy Rome! I’m roaming over to San Franisco in a few weeks, so far I’ve found Swan Oyster Depot to try and a Vietnamese roving food truck called Rice Paper Scissors that looks amazing. Do you have any suggestion?

  130. Tori

    We made this for dinner tonight and it was excellent!! Spaced on the lemon when I was at the grocery store, but luckily we had oranges on hand and it was still excellent! Thanks for another great recipe Deb!

  131. 195 comments!! Where do you find time to read all of these? I’m diving into my mountain of zucchini and your zucchini ribbons recipe (p57, SmittenKitchenCookbook) is on the agenda. It calls for 1/2 cup (142 grams) almonds. Curious, I weighed my 1/2 cup of almonds and found they weighed only 72 grams. 142 grams measured out as 1 cup. So I’m going with the 1/2 cup. My first go at the recipe will certainly tell me which is correct. But there it is, a contradiction. Certainly not earth shattering, nor worth much post-Italy time but I’ll keep an eye on the Tips&Errata section of your cookbook page, but probably won’t remember until Fall! LOVE THE BOOK!!

  132. Robert

    I’m a newbie cook and I just made this for dinner tonight! It tastes great, but the snap peas still have a little crunch in them. Should I aim for more tender peas next time I cook this?

    1. deb

      Robert — Definitely, if you like them more cooked. I do prefer them on the al dente side, but not everyone will.

      Carol — I hope you enjoy the recipe! So, I used the estimate of 5 ounces for 1 cup of whole almonds, which indeed should be more like 72 grams for a 1/2-cup! I will add it to the typo round-up. Sadly, the biggest typo spots in the book are in the weights, which were not edited as thoroughly as they have been since (later editions, little comfort to you now, I know, did fix these). When in doubt, the cup measurements are virtually all perfect.

      (As for comments, I try to read new ones that appear on any post on the site each morning or afternoon. It takes a bit of time, but it’s better than letting them pile up, or for people who leave such helpful comments to feel ignored.)

  133. We have some gorgeous looking asparagus “down the shore” in southeastern New Jersey at the moment. This looks like a good recipe to try out in the next few days while it’s just me and the dog. If it works, I’ll add it to my “go to” list of simple summer recipes. I’m thinking of adding some cooked shrimp and kalamata olives.

  134. Clara

    Well, I read your blog and I’m Italian! I live near Rome, so my point of view is a little bit different about the city: Rome is really, really beautiful, but it’s also a total mess. I hope you’ll enjoy all the good things that Rome can offer, just be careful, especially with food: most restaurants in Rome are tourists trap, selling the worst and not authentic food. I’m sure you’re aware of this “danger”: if I may, I suggest you to try “Il gelato di San Crispino” and “Il caffè di Sant’Eustachio”.

  135. Darn! I only just read this post and when I saw you were offering a class I was so excited!! But when I went to sign up it was all sold out!! I hope you trip is amazing and relaxing. Please offer more opportunities to see you in action – cooking.

  136. Rome… I only have to think about to smell the food… I have just came back from a sentimental trip of childhood flavour and already looking forward towards the next trip. Maybe Portugal?

  137. bea

    Deb I can’t believe you are in Rome! And having playdates with Rachel from racheleats….. two of my all-time favourite bloggers!

    I am an old old OLD fan, and I live here (I actually work at walking distance from both Baffetto AND la Gelateria del TEatro….) so if you need anyhting just shout! I’d love to be of any help. Can you get my email from this message?

    Oh and if you have the time to squeeze in one extra restaurant, Renato e Luisa in Via dei Barbieri (nex to Teatro ARgentina) is really worth a try. Ask for i piatti del giorno. Serious food, relaxed atmosphere, and… not expensive!

  138. Lindsey

    I also love those strange things about travel – how people walk, why they eat what they do, what makes them smile. Mostly, I love the enthusiasm with which many non-American cultures live life – maybe just their willingness to express it! We’re so guarded here, as a culture, unless we’re at a sporting event. Thanks for the gorgeous pictures! Keep them coming :)

  139. We live internationally, and so find ourselves on long flights with children all of the time. Sometimes they cry, sometimes they are so well-behaved that you don’t even notice they are there until deboarding. But we never think that a family shouldn’t be on the plane just because the child is upset. Travel is a universal human right. :)

  140. We are going to Mexico for the second time this year. This time to Guanajuato and Querétaro. Gotta practice some Spanish and eat some mole y queso de oaxaca. 9

  141. Rebekah

    Cool! My sister and I are going to take two weeks in the fall to check out Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. I’m excited for all the food!! Have fun in Rome. :)

  142. I can’t decide if I’m more excited about the bow ties and snaps or the fact you are in Rome. Don’t hesitate to travel with your little one, as nerve fraying as it can be at times. We were expats when my kids were 9 months, 8 and 7 and chose to do it again this year (I’m in London) .You mentioned wanting to travel a bit more…have you considered housesitting? We do it all the time (and they usually have a nicer kitchen than I do). Just a thought.

  143. Nina

    Ah, Rome! Its just the tip of the iceberg that is Italy so you’ll have to go back a lot more!! And I’m not being snarky, but you said you liked to learn: farfalle are butterflies, not bow ties.


  144. Cat

    This is EXACTLY what I needed: a quick but charming recipe for my neighbourhood communal meal tonight. Got some sugar snaps from the farmer’s market, got some colourful stripey bowties … I am ready to go and I thank you for always being a place I can turn for just the right recipe. I almost never buy cookbooks anymore (there’s no more room on the shelf), but I did treat myself to the Smitten Kitchen cookbook last week and I’m so glad I did. Pretty much I wanted to say, thanks for existing and for doing what you do.

  145. Brooke

    I made this for my family and they loved it! I served it on a bed of wild arugula and the warm pasta just barely wilted it down. I also had fresh italian parsley on hand instead of mint! Using my mother’s Meyer lemons made the dish complete!

  146. Allie

    I hope you’re enjoying your vacation! This spring, we took a trip to Marrakech and I can’t recommend it enough. I absolutely fell in love with every part of that loud, chaotic, don’t-know-where-to-look-everything-is-so-interesting city. If you venture there, ignore the restaurants that cater to tourists and wander through the food stalls in the Jemaa el Fna (the huge, main plaza in the city… full of snake charmers, monkey trainers, fortune tellers, acrobats, musicians, etc.). Mystery soup eaten at a folding table under a tent teeming with locals? Yes, please! (It was pretty good, too… and something like 35 cents a bowl!)

  147. ksm

    This was delicious. The mint was perfect in it, and ours is running wild all over the patio. It goes in your terrific carrot salad with harissa and feta that everyone goes nuts for, and now in this deliciousness, too! Thank you!

  148. Ah a trip to Rome, how incredible a vacation! So much history, art and great food. We are planning on a East Coast Canada trip this summer. So look forward to fresh lobster, crab, scallops and of course P.E.I. potato’s :)

  149. AndreaW

    made this the night before last with fresh ricotta from the farmer’s market. Yummy and oh so easy! The ricotta was so light and the lemon and zest was perfect. A great summer pasta with endless variations! Thanks!

  150. Aarthi

    ok. I am totally jealous although we just came back from Paris- Rome is so on our list for next year. I eat gelatos for lunch so it feels like Rome should be my adopted city. I made this will fresh ricotta(from your site but maybe was condensed more than usual and had a yellowish hue) and it was amazing. I did not add enough salt and pepper so have to correct that next time. The husband said it was too bland but ate 2 bowlfuls anyway. I am upping the red pepper flakes for next time but there will be many more times.

  151. Stephanie

    This was delicious. And I added a bunch of chopped swiss chard along with the peas. A good way to use up the CSA chard!

  152. Made this tonight and it was outstanding! We proudly used our first pea harvest of the season (so excited about this!), skipped the lemon, and used fresh basil in place of the mint. Perfect simple summer dish and one that will be on repeat while our pea plants are still producing. Thanks for sharing another great one!

  153. Melissa

    This is weird…I dreamed about Italy last night, in part, I think, because I’m in despair that as new parents (adopting a 6 month old AND a 27 month old), we will never, ever, never, ever again get to travel. You’ve restored my faith a bit. Enjoy Italy for us!

  154. THIS WAS DELICIOUS! We did indeed make the ricotta and it was the most fascinating science type project for my 6 year old. We used garden peas and mint, and it was so totally delicious that my 4 year old (who hasn’t stopped talking for 3 years and 2 months) was absolutely silent as she ate and ate and ate and ate…

  155. Kim

    Sounds simple and yummy and not your usual pasta…hmmm-I think I’ll make it this weekend!

    Enjoy your trip – Rome is such a wonderful city! Try the espresso granita at Tazza D’Oro near the Pantheon if you can…

  156. This looks fantastic!. Your travel photos are lovely and inspirational. I am hoping I will be able to get a spot in one of your Sur LA Table cooking classes. Sounds like fun!

  157. Bowties with ricotta.very good!! and a “snap” to make. Actually had used them-(snap peas) up in a slivered salad so I used fresh greeb beans instead. Didn’t want the beans to change their summer green so I sprinkled in lemon zest near the end, along with a small amount of garlic powder. Had no mint and I didnt miss it.This recipe is fast,easy cleanup and looks great!!!I also used some Asiago with the Parmesan. Will make it for guests and Im guessing some chicken chunks would make it a complete meal when I send over “get well” meals to my neighbors!!!

  158. Aylah

    Hi Deb! I really don’t like ricotta, could I use mascarpone cheese instead? I just got you cookbook As a birthday present, I’m so so excited to make everything in my tiny kitchen before I go on my semester abroad in Stockholm! You are the greatest!

  159. Mary Moss

    Thank you for your pizza recommendation!
    I haven’t had a chance yet to try a Roman slice, but this is happening tonight!
    But I didn’t want to dig in without a reccombdation first, because I have limited time.
    So perfect.
    I went to Ristorante la Campana today for lunch, is that the one you went to?
    18 Vicolo Della Campana, I think is the address?
    Just wondering if that is the same one you went to. It seems not.
    I’ll go to your gellateria too.
    You never let me down, thanks for responding,
    Love, Mary Moss

    1. deb

      Mary — Yes, Vicolo Della Campana. It’s sort of hidden back from a bigger street, but we used Google Maps to find it (and everything else) with success. We honestly went to nearly every single gelateria recommended (tough work, I know) and teatro came out ahead — don’t miss the hazelnut or almond or chocolate-red wine.

      Andrew — Fear! (All that fat in an unventilated kitchen.) But I’d really like to.

      Aylah — Absolutely. You might find you need less, because it is richer. But it’s also meltier, and will make more of a creamy sauce. Yuck, right? ;)

  160. CarolJ

    This made a delicious spring supper for my husband and me last night. My first time ever cooking with sugar snaps – loved their sweet crunch with the creamy pasta. For just the two of us, I reduced the pasta to 6 oz., the peas to 12 oz., and the lemon juice to half a lemon, but I left the cheese amounts the same as in the original (we live in the Dairy State :) ). Mmmmm.

  161. Brittany W.

    Hi Deb, Do you know there are some really crazy posts on your “first applesauce” post in the goo section? You may want to look at it….

  162. Afi

    Totally with you on the pasta simplicity – so amazing you get what you think is a plain looking Arrabiata and then are hit with all the layers and flavours! Gelato recommendation: can’t remember the name but it’s the Sicilian gelateria place near the main square of Trastevere, a part of town I definitely recommend. Great restaurants, fresh pasta shops, etc.

  163. Aylah

    Hi again! I made it with mascarpone and it was insanely good! Thank you so much for your response, it made my day after a hectic day of nannying! Now i am eating some of the leftover mascarpone on toast with local colorado honey and cinnamon, super good!

  164. Jean Marie

    I just made your homemade ricotta and am trying hard to stay out of it. If any survives tonight’s appetizers, it will go in this for sure.

  165. Morgan

    Made this a few nights ago after a long day at work and it was so nice! Didn’t take long at all, and I only needed to go out for the ricotta, lemon, and peas. Sadly I got english peas and left them in the pods? Which I guess you aren’t supposed to do. They were slightly fiborous, but edible! Thanks!

  166. Deb I have loved your blog for awhile and am excited to finally be commenting :) I am going to Cambodia this summer and trust me there will be lots of noodles, fresh vegetables and herbs and my favorite…bean sprouts! I’ve been to Laos and Singapore too and have completely fallen in love with the food and am fascinated by the techniques (like the way vendors make satay or how Korean barbecue is done) have a great time in Rome!

  167. swms1224

    Made this tonight. Wonderful ricotta from Salvatore Bklyn, snaps from Union Square and added shrimp, basil instead of mint (bf hates mint). Thanks for recipe

  168. Joanna

    Can’t wait to make this — seems like a perfect summer dinner.

    I’m going to Sweden and Denmark! Can’t wait to eat cardamom buns and pickled herring with potatoes. And crawfish.

  169. Melissa

    Amsterdam! And I want to try the baked goods (har har). We’re also going with our 2yo girl, who also doesn’t really listen or do well on airplanes – on our last trip she was throwing up for 2 hours. Any recommendations would be appreciated!

  170. Beth

    This was a truly delicious dinner! Thank you for the inspiration! I loved the freshness the mint and lemon offered. Thank you!

  171. Natalie

    This was the PERFECT dish for a hot summer evening. Thank you for always sharing such wonderful recipes- they enrich my life (and my diet)!

  172. Lori

    Help! Unrelated to post. Am making wild rice gratin with cheese from book. Right now and don’t see where to add 3/4 cup broth. Ack!

  173. Lori

    So I can’t follow directions… Thanks! It will be popped into oven tonight. Thanks for answering my call of distress, though I am embarrassed now.

  174. Melanie

    Just made this for dinner with fresh shelled peas. My husband recently begged for a pasta moratorium (after eating it nearly every day of the 14 months we’ve been living in Italy) but this looked so good and quick that I decided to chance it. Long story short, it was so delicious that he asked me to put it in the summer dinner rotation! Thanks Deb!

  175. Melanie

    Just made this for dinner with fresh shelled peas. My husband recently begged for a pasta moratorium (after eating it nearly every day of the 14 months we’ve been living in Italy) but this looked so good and quick that I decided to chance it. Long story short, it was so delicious that he asked me to put it in the summer dinner rotation! I think the olive oil drizzle at the end is essential, don’t leave it out. Thanks Deb!

  176. Well this was the perfect meal! Easy to prepare, and I had the ingredients on hand with the exception of the peas and mint. As a result, I substituted fresh broccoli and basil from my herb garden. Nary a noodle left in the pot. My kids were licking the serving spoon clean. Delish! Thanks, Deb!

  177. Leslie

    Made this tonight – easy for a very hot early summer night – delicious and easy, love the combination of lemon, mint and the ricotta. Thanks

  178. S.

    Hi Deb!
    Just wanted to write a quick note of thanks.
    We are in Hamburg, Germany at the moment and we had friends over for dinner. We bought a fruit basket from the fish market, getting tons of random fruits and vegetables. We had to figure out a way to use them and your recipe index was the perfect way to find out. We ended up having a delicious dinner with this recipe as well as the Dimply Plum Cake and the Parsnip Latkes (with some garlicky chicken as well).

    Thanks very much, everything was delicious!

  179. Katie

    Delicious! I added extra lemon and lots of crushed red pepper. My 9 mo old especially liked the snap peas. Even the leftovers were devoured.

  180. Gail

    But, but… I wanted to know at least a little about how it was traveling with a toddler! Naps? snacks? things that were supposed to work but didn’t? I know SK is a food blog, but the sight of a chubby hand reaching for a slice of pizza made me think… hey! how did it go?!

    1. deb

      Gail — Aw. It went well; we had fun, he saw lots of new things, and I know — how do they always word it? — “made memories” that we’ll always have. That said, Rome may not have been, in hindsight, the kid-friendliest of cities. Which leads me to the playground/diverged generational debate we kept having. First, there aren’t a ton of playgrounds Rome; it’s nothing like NYC but we found a couple a bus ride away from where we were staying. But in the end, we decided not to go more than a couple times, even if the kid would have been happiest there. I mean, that’s what we do in NYC every weekend and it seemed silly to travel all the way to Rome to … experience nothing new. We went back and forth over this — do what would be the most fun for the kid at every moment (the Explora museum was awesome, etc.) or see at least some percentage of what we’d hoped to there? Because we couldn’t do both. Anyway, this was our first big (non-beach resort) family vacation together and we’re already plotting what we’d do next year, maybe a little differently, if we can go away for a while again. I can’t wait.

  181. Teresa

    Perfectly timed! I’m buried in snap peas at the moment (who knew a 4×8 pea patch would feed the neighborhood?) and we have a partial container of ricotta that needs to be used. Also, we’re going to Rome next year, so I love seeing your pictures and reading about your adventures.

  182. I am going to Italy in a couple of weeks! We are still deciding what cities to visit and so far we aren’t actually headed to Rome, but maybe that will change once I look through all of your pictures : )

  183. Sarah

    My folks have been in Italy for over two weeks now and are having similar food epiphanies…simplicity is the key to really tasting the ingredients as they are meant to be.

    My own travels are less exotic, but I am heading back to my old home of Ashland Oregon and am excited to drink local wines again ( specifically the Viognier by Roxy Ann Vinyards) and eat deep fried Brussels sprouts with basil aioli. Have you enjoyed the magic that is a deep fried Brussels sprout, Deb? They become crispy/ salty on the outside and soft and almost buttery on the inside. Delish!

  184. Rochelle Eissenstat

    Very glad that you are back to traveling. I used to call my love of travel BC & AC [Before and After Children]. There are some countries that ARE particularly child-friendly offsetting the sad fact that all airplanes and airports are terribly child-unfriendly. Italy is one. Israel is another – so come explore and enjoy it too! Artisanal wines, goat cheeses, breads, delicious fresh foods close to the consumer, ancient ancient sites, nature, culture – have you seen David Lebovitz’ posts on his Israel trip? AND things for kids to do everywhere. People love children here and are very tolerant of kids’ needs. Among other things to do are archeological digs where the volunteers – you and son – DIG!

  185. Sofie M.

    If you don’t already love ricotta cheese, hold your breath and count to 15 before deciding to try this recipe. To my recollection, I had never used ricotta cheese before (always managed to sub in cottage cheese for lasagnas), and I liked the idea of trying it so much that I had to give it a go. However, if you’re not familiar with the grittiness of ricotta, you’re going to be surprised at the dearth of creaminess in this pasta dish. I was sadly disappointed by the odd texture. If you have already fallen in love with ricotta, then go do your thing and enjoy this dish, but I’ll be over here yearning for cream cheese or an alfredo sauce instead.

  186. Anna

    This pasta is AMAZING. I’ve made it three times since it was posted, twice for my household and once for guests, and everyone loves it. It makes me happy to hear that travels in Italy inspired this recipe, because it reminds me of a pasta dish I always loved eating while staying in Rome. I discovered that if serving as a main dish, whole wheat pasta makes it more filling (although Italians would not be happy with this suggestion, it’s still good!) Thanks for sharing, have a great trip!

  187. Noelle

    I made this recipe two nights ago (with your homemade ricotta recipe) and my husband and I loved it. It was so easy to put together, but simply delicious. Thank you!

  188. Vicki B

    The best spinach I ever had was forty years ago in Rome. To this day I have no idea what was in it. It looked dry, perhaps pan sauteed?, with spice unknown. So simple and yet unforgettable.

  189. karissa

    made this for dinner, it was so simple & incredibly delicious. perfect for summer. I had to share this recipe with my family & friends. followed the recipe as is.
    Have a blessed trip!

  190. Sandra


    Glad you took the jump and took a non resort vacation we alternate resort trips one year with more “adult” type trips the next…last summer we spent 3 weeks in Europe (London, Paris, Switzerland). My boys are older (9 and 12), but I definitely think that London might be a good next choice for you. Tons to do with the kids — and we went to museums that my husband nor I had ever seen (Natural History, etc.) We did find that Paris was geared for the kids but in a different way, we surprised how fascinated ours were with the Musee D’Orsay (the kids meal at lunch was salmon). Next year it is Italy and we are thinking of throwing in Croatia for the beaches. Hope the trip didn’t scare you off of Europe with kids for long — it’s a different adventure, but ones our kids always talk about.

  191. Kori

    I made this last night for a pot-luck style iftar get together (the meal to break a fast during the month of Ramadan for Muslims) and it was so delicious!! Everyone loved it, even my friend’s 3 year old son, who’s a finicky eater had 2 big servings of it!

  192. OMG, I just made this and its delicious! Actually, everything I’ve made from your blog is fantastic…you are my go to source. My husband and I went to Rome for our honeymoon and it was completely amazing. Although this recipe was perfect as is, I would love to try it with asparagus and goat cheese. MmmMmmMmm!

  193. Mary

    OK you don’t have a cookbook fanmail category. I have your cookbook and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. My sister is a vegetarian and we cooked from your book- it was great!! The most surprising dish that I couldn’t stop eating was the one with the raw cauliflower. The only problem I had was with the baked potato crisps. The Kale salad is one I cannot live without. Also the miso salad and gooey squares. Congrats on the fantastic book. Next time you make a cookbook (really soon-seriously you should get busy on this now before you have more kids and zero extra time) the pages should be plastic since this cookbook actually lives in the kitchen!!

  194. Sonja

    A bit late to the party, but thoroughly enjoyed reading all recommendations as my parents live in Rome. I saw a lot of familiar names, so I guess my parents are doing something right! Anyways, I’ve cooked this meal for the past two days and it is divine. I sort of gauged the proportions and adjusted it for my solo meal (which is why I could eat two days off of my stash of Ricotta cheese!), and it was just perfect for the hot weather we’ve been having here. The lemon and the mint really make this dish fresh and light! Anyways, if you ever plan on coming to Amsterdam (my place of residence), post it on the site so I can give you some recommendations.

  195. I made this the other day and have to say, the leftovers are just as good if not somehow better! The lemon juice at the end is vital. I’ll be making this again and experimenting with variations of the sugar snaps when they are out of season. Thanks!

  196. Hi Deb, I hope I am correctly following your comment guidelines — the link is in the website field so hopefully not destined to comment purgatory!

    This dish looks delicious, I don’t cook with dairy but if I did, I would love to make this. I love the picture of the sugar snaps being washed.

    I came across this post because one of your readers nominated it for my Most Inspired Recipe of the year award. No spam intended, I just wanted to let me know. Reach out if you have questions.

    Keep on cooking. I love everything you share.

  197. meryl

    Hi Deb. Heart-stuffed shells in lemon ricotta bechamel (from your book) sounds delicious but may be a little difficult to prepare for New Year’s Eve. Can you suggest any shortcuts, and can it stand out of the oven a while?


    1. deb

      meryl — Do you mean, like, hours? Uncooked? It may not be the most food-safe. But, the whole dish can be made and assembled up to a whole day before and baked before the party. Or, baked the morning of and reheated.

  198. Caity

    I don’t think there are words to sufficiently express my adoration for this dish. Like Mary Poppins, it is practically perfect in every way. I could happily eat it every day — and I nearly did last summer.

    I just made it again tonight for the first time this season — angels sang as I took the first bite. It truly may be my all-time favorite dinner recipe. It seems so simple, but everything comes together beautifully. It is also easy to adapt to make just one serving at a time.

  199. linda

    So glad to see this recipe is listed under “Weeknight Favorites”. I’ve been making it regularly ever since you posted it last year – it is definitely my go-to pasta/veggie dish. I’ve made it with broccoli florets, peas, asparagus, green beans, snow peas, zucchini – very easy to tailor this recipe to what is on hand. I particularly like Trader Joe’s cello packages of fresh broccoli-cauliflower and other combinations from their produce section. I try to keep a good selection of fresh veggies on hand and then I always have an emergency dinner ready to go. Thanks, Deb!

  200. Heather

    Googled asparagus and ricotta… and my most favorite website appeared with this perfect looking recipe!

    I will try it with basil instead of mint since that’s what I have on hand. (I don’t see why not…)

  201. Kristine

    Made this last week and added a pound of browned Italian sausage to the whole thing. I stirred the sausage in just before dollops of ricotta. I have two teen boys and a husband who “need meat” with every meal but I appreciate more vegetarian recipes with meat on the “side” so it was a way to satisfy us all. Thank you Deb!

  202. Anne

    Not sure what all the posts about traveling are about….must have missed the connection between sugar snap peas and where all of you have traveled.

    Nevertheless, this is hands down the best sugar snap peas recipe ever. The only thing I changed was a reduced amount of pasta bc that is all I had. I would make this again any way and in any form. the only other way would be with no pasta and just have lots of greens. super delicious.

    that reminds me of a meal I had in brussels…….joking.

  203. alexandra

    This is hands down my favorite smitten kitchen recipe. I make it all of the time, and it never gets old! Perfect light pasta dish in summertime as well. Like most other readers, I added my own spin on it with some feta & spinach sausage, cannelloni beans, and corn. So excited to keep trying new additions to this recipe!

  204. Rebekah

    Excellent, just excellent. Easy, fast, and tastes like Spring. My husband, who dislikes vegetables, said, “Hey, these peas aren’t gross!” which is high praise indeed.

  205. Leslie

    Thanks for reminding us of this on Facebook. It made a lovely — and quick — midweek dinner. And I got to use a little mint from my herb garden, which I almost skipped — glad I didn’t.

  206. Jacquie Katz

    Rome-my happy place! Do not, please, do not miss the Jewish artichokes in the quarter. You are there in season! You are soo lucky! Enjoy every minute!

  207. Janice

    Just made this last night…it was quick to throw together after working all day and YUMMY!! The addition of the ricotta makes it surprisingly more filling than regular pasta alone, and this was a good size for two adults and two teens. Although I really could have eaten more and more because it was so good!! Oh – I skipped the mint because my husband and kids aren’t fans.