Creamy lemon ricotta pasta is a delicious and easy dish ready in 20 minutes. Fresh lemon and rich ricotta make this pasta extra special.
Tangy and creamy with savory bright flavors, this lemon ricotta pasta is perfect if you're looking for a delicious and easy pasta recipe. Just like our basil pesto pasta, spaghetti aglio e olio and spinach pesto pasta, this easy vegetarian pasta makes a delicious weeknight dinner that's ready in no time, using a handful of ingredients. Serve with a side salad for a delicious meal.
Table Of Contents:
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy: This dish very simple to make and doesn't require any special skills.
- Quick: Just like our cherry tomato pasta, it takes less than 30 minutes to make pasta with ricotta sauce from start to finish, making this the perfect weeknight dinner.
- Bright flavor: Thanks to lemon, ricotta and parmesan, this easy pasta dish is packed with citrusy bright flavors that's perfect for spring and summer.
Lemon Ricotta Pasta Ingredients
- Pasta: I usually use spaghetti for this recipe but you can also use penne, rigatoni or linguine if desired.
- Olive oil: Good olive oil always makes the dish taste better.
- Ricotta: Whole milk ricotta works best for this recipe. If you've got a large tub or ricotta, try using the leftovers to make our favorite whipped ricotta.
- Lemon: You're going to use both lemon zest and juice to make the sauce.
- Parmesan: It's best to use a block of parmesan and grate it yourself.
- Red pepper flakes: This is optional, but it adds a nice subtle kick to the sauce.
How To Make Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Sauté the garlic in a pan over medium heat. Add in the ricotta and cook for a minute.
- Add the zest and juice of one lemon, followed by grated parmesan and red pepper flakes. Stir in ½ cup of the reserved pasta water.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and gently toss so it's fully coated with the sauce. If it looks a bit dry, add more of the reserved pasta sauce and toss again.
- Top with more parmesan, basil and red pepper flakes if desired.
Here are a few suggestions to jazz up this easy lemon ricotta pasta:
- Add a handful of baby spinach or chopped kale to the ricotta sauce and cook until is wilted.
- Top the pasta with a generous drizzle of olive oil for extra creaminess.
- Add sundried tomatoes or homemade pesto to the sauce for another layer of flavor.
Storage and Reheating
Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, place the pasta in a pan over medium heat. Add some more parmesan and a few tablespoons of water. Heat and stir occasionally until the pasta is completely heated though.
Frequently Asked Questions
I usually go for spaghetti, but frankly any kind of pasta including penne and linguine would work.
Using skim or low fat ricotta will result in the sauce being rather grainy and not as flavorful.
It's best to make this dish right before serving so the pasta is creamy and rich.
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Lemon Ricotta Pasta Recipe
- 1 lb pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta 8 oz
- 1 lemon
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- As the pasta is cooking, the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the garlic until golden.
- Add the ricotta and cook for 2 more minutes Add in the lemon zest and juice to the ricotta and stir to combine.
- Add in the freshly grated parmesan, red pepper flakes and salt. Give it a good stir. Add in ½ cup pasta water and mix to combine.
- Add the cooked pasta to the lemon ricotta sauce and toss gently to make sure it's fully coated with the creamy sauce. It the sauce is not creamy enough, add the rest of the pasta water and cook for a minute more.
- Garnish with more parmesan, fresh basil and red pepper flakes.
- I prefer using spaghetti for this recipe but other kinds such as penne or rigatoni would work too.
- Freshly grated parmesan adds a lot more flavor to the dish compared to the packaged variation.
- Reduced fat or skim ricotta will not result in a creamy pasta therefore it's best to use whole milk.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, place the pasta in a pan over medium heat, add more parmesan and a little bit of water and heat for 10-15 minutes.
- This dish cannot be frozen as the texture will change and won't be creamy anymore.