Lemon Ricotta Pasta
This is such a nice, bright pasta dish, but also so comforting, perfect for a summertime lunch or dinner! The lemon really makes the dish pop and the ricotta makes for a light creamy sauce.
Lemon Ricotta Pasta
* I always forget to do this so I'm adding a reminder at the beginning of the recipe! When your pasta has about 2 minutes of cooking time left, reserve your ½ cup of pasta water!
* We preferred a stronger lemon flavor with this pasta, but you can adjust to your liking when adding the lemon juice.
* I found that the type of pasta does make a small difference - I used fusilli because it'll hold the sauce in its spirals, but anything that has little ridges or grooves will work great!
* To make the sauce even creamier, you can whisk your ricotta by hand in the bowl before adding the other ingredients. It will break down some of the curds and make it less grainy, depending on the brand of ricotta you use.
* You can add grilled chicken, vegetables, shrimp, etc. - or just enjoy as is!
* This pasta is meant to be enjoyed immediately when it's at its creamiest dreamiest state!
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for topping
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb. fusilli pasta
15-16 oz ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
1 tsp lemon zest
Juice from 1 ½ lemons, about 3 tablespoons
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped, plus more for topping
½ cup pasta water, reserved
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions.
In a small pan, heat olive oil over medium heat, add smashed garlic cloves and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously, until fragrant and garlic just begins to turn golden. Remove from heat, set pan aside, and we're going to let the garlic and red pepper sit in the oil until ready to use.
While pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, add ricotta cheese and move the whisk back and forth through the cheese until creamy. Stir in the grated parmesan cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, egg yolk, and fresh basil. Mix until combined.
Don't forget to reserve your pasta water! When pasta is done cooking, drain and immediately add to your ricotta mixture.
Remove the garlic cloves from the oil, and pour the oil mixture with the red pepper flakes over the pasta. Mix everything together until nice and creamy.
Add ¼ cup pasta water and stir until combined, adding more pasta water as needed to coat the pasta.
Plate and top with additional parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil (optional). Serve immediately!