$3.52 RECIPE / $0.88 SERVING
For those times when you just need something quick and delicious, here’s a quickie dish.
This Lemon Ricotta Pasta is quick, light, and refreshing, making it ideal for a quick weekday meal in the summer.
The fresh lemon flavor goes nicely with the light creamy ricotta and the peas’ sweetness adds a little something more to each bite. Simple, fresh, and straightforward.
IS IT REQUIRED THAT I USE FRESH LEMON?
This is one of those recipes where using fresh lemon juice rather than bottled juice is a must. The lemon zest infuses the pasta with a vibrant, summery lemon taste without making the sauce overly sour.
We use a little of the juice to balance out the smoothness of the ricotta, but it’s the zest that gives the dish its lovely lemon taste!
NOT ALL RICOTTA IS CREATED IN THE SAME MANNER
The quality of ricotta varies a lot from one brand to the next, in my experience. Others are bland and gritty, while others are smooth, light, and sweet like new milk.
Galbani is my favorite brand, but when I went to the supermarket, they didn’t have any, so I bought the generic Kroger version. Although the spaghetti was slightly gritty, it was still rather tasty!
Also, make sure to obtain ricotta made from whole milk. In this recipe, low-fat ricotta just doesn’t cut it.
CAN I ADD ANYTHING ELSE?
If you’re in the mood for something a little more complicated, this simple pasta is a fantastic place to start. Sliced chicken breast, fresh basil, or fresh spinach are all good additions.
This spaghetti would also be delicious with garlic butter shrimp!
SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR LEMON RICOTTA PASTA
Because this pasta is so light and airy, I recommend keeping any accompanying foods similarly light and airy. I’d serve it alongside a simple side salad or roasted asparagus and tomatoes.
LEMON RICOTTA PASTA
- 1 lemon ($0.89)
- 8 oz. pasta* ($0.67)
- 1 cup frozen peas ($0.50), a clove of garlic, minced ($0.08), Tbsp. butter ($0.11) and a cup of whole milk ricotta ($1.60)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan ($0.36), salt (or to taste) ($0.02), and freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste) ($0.02)
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper (or to taste) ($0.02)
- The lemon should be zested and juiced. 1/2 tsp lemon zest and 1 tbsp lemon juice are required.
- Follow the package directions for cooking the pasta (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). 1 cup of the starchy water from the pot should be saved before draining.
- Drain the pasta first, then place the frozen peas in the colander to thaw the peas as it drains.
- Melt the butter and add the minced garlic in a large skillet; cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant.
- In the same skillet with the butter and garlic, add the drained pasta and peas, as well as approximately 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water. Turn off the heat after stirring to mix everything.
- Combine the ricotta, Parmesan, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest in the skillet. Stir until everything is fully incorporated, the ricotta has warmed from the remaining heat from the skillet and pasta, and the ricotta has formed a creamy sauce. If necessary, add extra the heated pasta water that has been set aside.
- Season the spaghetti to taste with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Warm the dish before serving.
*Any short shape pasta can be used.
NUTRITION IN LEMON RICOTTA PASTA
- Serving: 1 serving
- Calories: 400 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 51 g
- Protein: 18 g
- Fat: 14 g
- Sodium: 335 mg
- Fiber: 4 g
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING LEMON RICOTTA PASTA
- One lemon should be zested and juiced. 1/2 tsp zest and 1 tbsp juice are required.
- 8 oz. pasta, cooked according to package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Before draining the starchy pasta water, save roughly 1 cup.
- Fill a colander halfway with frozen peas, then pour the boiled pasta over top to defrost the peas while draining the pasta.
- In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 garlic clove. Sauté for 1-2 minutes over medium heat, or until the garlic is extremely aromatic.
- Add the still-hot pasta and peas, as well as approximately 1/2 cup of the hot reserved pasta water In the same skillet. Turn off the heat after stirring to mix everything.
- Toss the spaghetti with 1 cup whole milk ricotta, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Stir until all of the ingredients are mixed, the ricotta has warmed from the residual heat from the pasta and skillet, and the ricotta has turned into a creamy sauce.
- If the mixture is too thick or dry, add more of the leftover pasta water. Season the spaghetti to taste with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
- While the lemon ricotta pasta is still warm, enjoy it!