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Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Ricotta, and Peas

Sun-dried tomatoes can be dry and overpowering when paired with pasta. In developing our pasta with sun-dried tomatoes recipe, we set out to solve both problems, first by draining and rinsing the tomatoes to rid them of their universally unpleasant marinades, then by cutting them into small pieces to tame their presence.

Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes are sold in jars of different sizes. One 8 1/2-ounce jar is enough.

1 pound medium pasta shells or spiral tubular pasta
Table salt
1 cup frozen peas (4 ounces)
2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces whole-milk ricotta (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (one 8 1/2-ounce jar) drained, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped coarse
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese , plus additional for serving
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
Ground black pepper

1. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil, covered, in stockpot. Stir in pasta and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until al dente, adding peas in last 15 seconds of cooking. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup cooking water, and return pasta and peas to stockpot.

2. Meanwhile, heat garlic, oil, and red pepper flakes in small skillet over medium heat; cook until sizzling but not browned, about 1 minute. Set skillet aside to cool slightly. Stir together ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan, mint, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and garlic/oil mixture in bowl. Stir pasta cooking water into ricotta mixture; add ricotta mixture to pasta in pot and stir well to combine. Serve immediately, passing additional Parmesan separately.