Okay, friends.  I am being totally serious right now. I am in love with this lemon ricotta pasta.  For various reasons.  1) it only requires a handful of ingredients, 2) it is so super simple; like, weeknight-dinner, ready-in-20-minutes, simple, and 3)  it is fabulous as far as flavor goes.  So really, we have 3 of the most important things working in our favor right now, especially if we’re talking food.  Which of course, we are.  Because what else is there?

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta Recipe

Anyway, this pasta will become one of those staple recipes that you pull out of your cute lil pocket on those nights where you 1) had a long day at work, 2) don’t feel like cooking and 3) still want something delicious for dinner.  So, basically every night.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

At least that’s how it works around here.  And if the recipe provides enough leftovers for, say, 3 days in a row, that is just another bonus.  Amiright?

Okay, okay, so the recipe is quick and simple and perfect for weeknights.

Blah blah blah.  But let’s get down to the meat and potatoes here… the flavor and overall deliciousness. Because that’s really what we all wanna come home to at night.  

So, we have pasta, which pretty much hits a homerun every time, with everyone.  And I used whole wheat rigatoni for this one because it’s incredibly hearty, and because it’s tubular {in so many ways}, so it will soak up all of the velvety sauce.  Speaking of sauce…. this stuff is killer.  It’s a mix of lemon zest and lemon juice, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, starchy pasta water, olive oil {or butter, just sayin’} and a generous pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

THAT’S IT.  

Everyone has those items at home, right?? {Cue the raising of all of your hands.}  So whisk ’em all together in a steaming pot and you have this creamy and luxurious sauce for that earthy pasta. 

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Oh, and don’t forget to toss a handful of spicy arugula in there, because, well, it’s arugula.

I just don’t understand how something so simple can be so delicious.  But that’s the beauty of it, folks.  

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

But, just a few notes on that.  When using just a few simple ingredients {plus all of the other times you’re cooking}, it’s important to make sure those guys are the highest quality ingredients you can get!  

And that doesn’t have to mean pricey…  it just means to make sure you use fresh lemon {it just has to happen} with the zest, good {refrigerated} Parmesan cheese, which is in abundance here in Wisconsin, a rich extra virgin olive oil, and that hearty 100% whole grain pasta I was talkin’ bout.

And with that, you’ll have an amazing dinner in no-time-at-all.  {And leftovers for dayzzzz.  And maybe you’ll even eat this for breakfast.  No judgement.}

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

And you guys!  I almost forgot!  I had just the greatest time this past weekend at my first-ever food photography workshop!  I learned so much, and met some amazing food bloggers and just can’t say enough about how fun the entire weekend was!  Good food + food photography + cool peeps = The best weekend ever. <3

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Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Easy lemon ricotta sauce tossed with rigatoni and arugula.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 5-10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15-20 mins
  • Total Time: 20-30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Category: Entree, Pasta
  • Method: Stove-Top
Scale

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces whole wheat rigatoni or other tubular pasta
  • Zest and juice of 2-3 large lemons
  • 12 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh arugula or other fresh greens

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta per package directions.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic {if using}, ricotta cheese, half of the Parmesan cheese, half of the oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Once cooked, drain the pasta and reserve at least 1 ½ cups pasta water. Place pot back on the stove and heat pasta water to medium-high. Add ricotta cheese mixture and whisk until combined. Bring to a simmer and whisk constantly, until thickened. Add more pasta water until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Add pasta back to the water and stir to combine. Gently fold in ¾ cup arugula.
  4. Garnish pasta with remaining Parmesan cheese, olive oil and arugula and serve immediately.

Notes

Storage Tip: Pasta can be refrigerated up to 3 days.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 349
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 372mg
  • Fat: 19g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 20mg

Keywords: ricotta, lemon, lemon ricotta, pasta, noodles, rigatoni