By: Kristi Goode
· 1 box Banza Cavatappi
· 1 cup whole milk ricotta
· 1 lemon, zest and juice
· ⅓ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
· 4-6 sage leaves
1. Cook Banza: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add Banza Cavatappi and cook according to package directions. Reserve ¼ cup pasta water, then strain and return to warm pot off heat until Step 5.
2. Fry Sage: While pasta cooks, line a plate with a paper towel. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add sage leaves. Fry until crisp, flipping halfway through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to lined plate to drain.
3. Toast Walnuts: Add walnuts to the oil, still over medium heat, and cook, stirring until toasted and light golden, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to lined plate with sage.
4. Make Ricotta Sauce: In a blender or food processor, combine ricotta, juice and zest from one lemon and 1 tbsp of the leftover oil from frying sage and walnuts. Blend until smooth. If the sauce feels thick, add a dash of pasta water. It should be a smooth puree. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
5. Finish Pasta: Add ricotta sauce to pot with cooked pasta and mix well. If needed, add a few tbsp pasta water until desired consistency is reached. Garnish with fried sage leaves, extra lemon zest and toasted walnuts.
• Ricotta quality is important here, try to find fresh Italian whole milk ricotta - it’s less gritty than American made brands
• Use a fish spatula or slotted spoon to remove sage leaves and walnuts from hot oil, this will keep the leaves intact!