This recipe originally appeared on our sister site: Simply Whisked.
One of the things I love most about cooking pasta is the endless possibilities. It’s a totally blank slate, and just a few simple ingredients can take it from good to great.
This ricotta pasta is one of those dishes. You don’t even need garlic, which is basically mind-blowing to me, and the ricotta cheese melts into a beautifully creamy sauce. You won’t be disappointed.
This dish comes together in about 15 minutes, so it makes a great quick lunch or dinner, you could also serve it with some pan-seared chicken breast for a more complete meal.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
How to make lemon ricotta pasta
Cook the pasta. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook your pasta according to the directions on the package for al dente.
I like using a twisty pasta for this recipe because it holds the sauce really well, but any pasta you have on hand will do.
When the pasta is ready, reserve a little bit of pasta water (I usually save about 1/2 – 1 cup) and drain the rest in a colander.
Make the sauce. Return the pasta back to the pot you cooked it in, and add the ricotta, pecorino (or parmesan), lemon juice and zest.
Add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and stir to combine. As the cheese melts, slowly add more pasta water until you get a creamy sauce.
Garnish and serve. Season with salt & pepper to taste, and top with fresh basil before serving.
FAQs and tips for making lemon ricotta pasta
Ricotta cheese is one of a few cheeses that actually does not technically melt. It combines nicely with the hot pasta water and other ingredients in the dish to create a creamy “melty” sauce, but it’s not technically melted.
No. You can eat ricotta cheese without cooking it, but in the recipe we are going to heat it up with reserved pasta water that will slightly cook it.
You can, but mascarpone cheese has a denser consistency so it may change the final dish a bit. The sauce will also be a tiny bit sweeter with a more pronounced flavor.
More ricotta pasta recipes:
More fusilli recipes:
- Fusilli pasta with spinach tomato and mushrooms
- Knock off Disneyland chicken fusilli
- Chicken pasta bake
For even more pasta recipes, check out our recipe index!
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- 16 ounces fusilli pasta
- 1 15-ounce package part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano (or parmesan)
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- Coarse salt & black pepper, to taste
- Thinly sliced fresh basil, for garnish
- Boil a large pot of salted water, and cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Before draining, reserve 1/2 – 1 cup of pasta water for later.
- Return pasta to pot and stir in ricotta, pecorino cheese, lemon juice and zest with 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water.
- Stir to coat the pasta, slowly adding reserved water until a creamy sauce forms. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.
- Garnish with fresh basil before serving.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Fusilli
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian/American
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: Lemon ricotta pasta, ricotta pasta, lemon pasta, lemon ricotta, easy pasta recipes, quick pasta recipes