Saturday, September 28, 2013

Linguine with Peas Garlic and Ricotta Salata - Alice Waters - Week Two of the Fifty Most Influential Women in Food

Like it or not, Alice Waters is one of the people whose voice and ideas have changed the way American people think about food. Her emphasis on fresh ingredients, local farms and artisanal food have led critics within the food industry to label her a zealot and roundly refute her importance to the fresh food revolution in the United States. I must say, at least to the untrained eye, it appears that the industry creates culinary heroes for the sole purpose of tearing them down. Grandma's admonition to "give the devil his due" seems to have fallen on deaf or jealous ears. It's a shame, and, as an observer, I mind the lack of collegiality within the industry. There are children who go to bed at night with empty bellies. Why not address that problem before you eat your young or put your elders on ice flows. Fortunately, outside that small circle of detractors, Alice Waters seems to be doing very well, and while we don't know their names, we do know hers . I like to think of it as karmic justice. Her restaurant, Chez Panisse, is doing well and she is well-received at public appearances. She also grabbed the number two spot on Gourmet's list of the most influential women in the food industry. We could all use a zealot or two in our lives. There is a purity to thoughtful resistance that I find appealing. I may not bend, but I do listen.

I'd also like to extend an invitation to you. A small group of food bloggers is using the Gourmet list of the 50 most influential women in food, found here, to expand their cooking repertoires. Each Friday, participants are free to select any recipe developed by the woman of the week. We'd love to have you join us. If you're interested send me an email and I'll get back to you with particulars. I was really happy to test the recipe that follows. The pasta is wonderful and I know you'll enjoy it. The Silver Fox loved it, though he ate two large servings without a pea making it into his mouth. That's my guy! I'm also including links to two other recipes developed by Alice Waters that have already appeared on my blog. They, too, are terrific. The following bloggers are participating this week's challenge. Be sure to pay these gals a visit. You won't be sorry. They all are great cooks and writers.

Valli - More Than Burnt Toast

Joanne - Eats Well With Others

Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed

Susan - The Spice Garden

Linguine with Peas, Garlic and Ricotta Salata...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Alice Waters


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh baby peas (1 pound unshelled)

1 pound linguine

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped marjoram

1/2 cup crumbled or shaved ricotta salata or feta cheese (about 2 ounces)


1) Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until very soft and golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

2) In a large saucepan 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 saucepan and boil until al dente. Drain linguine, reserving 1/4 cup of cooking water. Return pasta to saucepan and toss with garlic oil, peas and reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with marjoram. Top with the cheese and serve at once.

Yield: 4 servings.

Spring Vegetable Ragout

Apricot Souffle

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