Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Garlic (3 cloves)
. Cut the
Asparagus (3 cups)
into 1-inch pieces. Remove the casings from the
Spicy Sausage Links (1 lb)
. Thaw the
Frozen Green Peas (1 1/2 cups)
Parmesan Cheese (1/2 cup)
Place the slices of
Sourdough Bread (4 slices)
on a baking sheet and drizzle with
Olive Oil (1 Tbsp)
. Bake for about 7 to 10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
Remove from the oven and allow to slightly cool and dry out for a bit. Break up the bread with your hands and place it into a food processor. Pulse until the bread resembles coarse crumbs.
Return the crumbs to the baking sheet and toast in the oven for a few minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the remaining
Olive Oil (2 Tbsp)
. Brown the spicy sausage using a wooden spoon to break it up, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the minced shallot and garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the chopped asparagus and season with
Salt (to taste)
Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (1/2 tsp)
Sauté asparagus until tender and bright green. Remove from the heat and set it off to the side.
In a small bowl, combine the
Ricotta Cheese (1 cup)
, and zest and juice from
. Season with salt and pepper, combine and set aside.
Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. Season with a lot of salt and bring back to a boil. Add the
Orecchiette Pasta (1 lb)
and cook as directed on the box, until tender.
Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pot, set over low to medium heat. Add the cooked sausage and asparagus mixture to the orecchiette, and stir together with about 1 cup of the reserved pasta water.
Add about half of the bread crumbs, all of the peas and the grated parmesan cheese. Stir everything together and cook until heated through. Season with a bit more black pepper if desired.
Serve the pasta with a dollop of the lemon ricotta mixture, some of the remaining bread crumbs, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Eat hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!