Savory and delicious, this one pot pasta with creamy ricotta and refreshing lemon is a creative spin on traditional Italian comfort food. Made with wholesome ingredients like fresh herbs, garlic, and parmesan cheese, this hearty dish makes a great meatless weeknight dinner and will fill you up without weighing you down. Serve this flavorful dish for lunch or dinner - it's sure to please both adults and kids alike!
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Craving delicious Italian comfort food but don't want to spend hours in the kitchen? Look no further than this easy-to-make one pot recipe for pasta with ricotta and lemon!
With just a few simple ingredients like garlic, fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, and of course, creamy ricotta and zesty lemon juice, you can create an incredibly flavorful dish that looks almost too good to be true.
This delicious pasta dish takes just 20 minutes of cooking time so you can have a savory dinner on the table in no time. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or lazy Sundays, this unique take on traditional Italian cuisine is sure to become a new favorite any night of the week!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Get ready for a delicious and easy one-pot pasta dish that will please any crowd. This flavorful recipe combines creamy ricotta cheese, fresh lemon juice, juicy peas, and tasty herbs to create a light and dreamy meal. This recipe is inspired by the New York Times version, but with a few tasty additions. There are lots of reasons why I think you'll love this pasta. Here are just a few:
- It's made with just one pot and takes minutes to prepare - perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.
- The combination of creamy ricotta and bright lemon flavors creates a unique dish that’s sure to please.
- It's made with wholesome ingredients like garlic, parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs. It's suitable for both adults and kids alike - a guaranteed family favorite!
So the next time you need an easy weeknight dinner for the family or an impressive dish for a get-together with friends, try this incredible one-pot pasta with ricotta and lemon - I promise it won't disappoint!
What You’ll Need To Make One Pot Pasta With Ricotta And Lemon
Pasta: You can use any type of pasta for this recipe so grab your favorite variety. I recommend using a short pasta like penne, farfalle, bow tie pasta, or even fusilli. I used casarecce for this recipe.
Peas: Fresh or frozen peas are both great in this dish. I use frozen peas and just toss them in with the pasta for the last few minutes of the cooking time.
Garlic: I always use fresh garlic for maximum flavor, but you can also use garlic powder if you prefer.
Butter: Just a little butter is great for sauteeing the garlic and adding richness to the dish. You can use salted or unsalted, just adjust the amount of salt you use in the recipe to make sure your pasta is seasoned to perfection.
Ricotta cheese: Fresh ricotta is the star of this dish. Use whole-milk ricotta for the best flavor and texture.
Parmesan cheese: Use freshly grated parmesan for the best flavor and texture. The sauce is a 50-50 mix of ricotta and parmesan, so you'll want to use good-quality parmesan if you have it available.
Lemon juice: This gives the pasta its delightful tart flavor. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best for this recipe - just remember to zest your lemons first.
Lemon zest: This adds a zesty, aromatic flavor to the dish and enhances the flavor of the lemon juice.
Salt and pepper: Use freshly ground black pepper and some sea salt for added flavor.
Dried basil: Dried basil is a great addition to this recipe. I like to add dried basil to the sauce and then top the dish with fresh basil at the end.
Fresh basil: I like to use fresh basil for garnish. It adds a bright, herby flavor and makes the dish look even more inviting.
Now that you have all of your ingredients ready, it's time to get cooking! Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.
Step 2: Add the peas to the pasta for the last 5 minutes of the cooking time.
Step 3: Drain the pasta and peas and reserve ¾ cup of the pasta water. Do not rinse the pasta and peas.
Step 4: Return the pot to the stovetop and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Step 5: Add the whole milk ricotta cheese, parmesan, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and dried basil and stir to combine.
Step 6: Add the reserved pasta water to the ricotta mixture and stir until well combined and the sauce is hot.
Step 7: Add the cooked pasta and peas to the and stir to combine.
Step 8: Serve the pasta with a sprinkle of finely sliced fresh basil, extra parmesan cheese, and lemon slices.
Tips For Making The Best One Pot Lemon And Ricotta Pasta
Here are a few tips to ensure your lemon ricotta pasta recipe turns out perfectly every time:
- Use the freshest ingredients possible. The best flavor comes from fresh garlic, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese.
- Don’t forget to season your pasta! Make sure you salt your boiling water and then season the sauce at the end with some freshly ground black pepper.
- Reserve some of the cooking liquid from your pasta before you drain it. The starchy water adds flavor and helps the pasta sauce to thicken, creating a delicious creamy sauce.
- If you forget to reserve pasta water, you can make a substitute by mixing 1 cup of water with ¼ teaspoon of cornstarch and microwaving it until hot. Use this mixture in place of the pasta water to create a smooth, silky sauce.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. You want your pasta al dente for this recipe so keep an eye on it while it’s cooking and test it for doneness before draining.
- Taste your sauce when you add the ricotta, parmesan, lemon juice, and seasonings to make sure it has enough flavor.
Serving Suggestions And Substitutions
This one-pot lemon and ricotta pasta is delicious served with a side of cheesy garlic bread or roasted vegetables (like these air fryer potatoes and carrots). It's also great with a side salad or steamed greens.
If you need to make substitutions, I suggest the following:
- If you don't have ricotta cheese, you can try using a combination of cottage cheese and cream cheese. Add a splash of heavy cream if this mixture is too thick.
- You can also substitute fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or dill for the basil.
- To make your dish heartier, you can add grilled chicken or cooked and crumbled Italian sausage or bacon for extra flavor and texture.
- You can add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.
- If you don't have any lemons, try lime instead. It will give the dish a bright, citrusy flavor.
- If you don't want to use peas, you can substitute with green beans, asparagus, or even baby spinach.
- If you don't have any butter or don't want to use it you can substitute any mild-flavored cooking oil to sautee your garlic. I recommend olive oil or avocado oil.
I hope you enjoy this flavorful one-pot lemon and ricotta pasta! Enjoy!
How To Store Leftovers
This pasta is best served fresh, however, if you have leftovers of this pasta dish you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
For best results, reheat the pasta gently on the stovetop with a splash of milk, water, or broth. This will help to revive the flavors and make the sauce silky again.
You can also freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the pasta in the refrigerator and then reheat it on the stovetop with a splash of water, milk, or broth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I forgot to save some pasta water for the sauce. What can I do?
A: If you forget to reserve pasta water, you can make a substitute by mixing 1 cup of water with ¼ teaspoon of cornstarch and microwaving it until hot. Use this mixture in place of the pasta water to create a smooth, silky sauce.
Q: Can I freeze leftovers of this one-pot pasta?
A: While this dish is best served fresh, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the pasta in the refrigerator and then reheat it on the stovetop with a splash of water or broth.
Q: Can I use a different type of cheese instead of ricotta?
A: If you don't have ricotta cheese, you can try using a combination of cottage cheese and cream cheese.
Q: What kind of protein can I add to this dish?
A: If you want to add some extra protein to this dish, I recommend adding grilled chicken or salmon. You can also try adding some crumbled Italian sausage or bacon for extra flavor and texture.
Q: Can I use something other than fresh lemon juice?
A: If you don't have any lemons, try lime instead. It will give the dish a bright, citrusy flavor. In a pinch, you can use bottled lemon juice but I definitely recommend fresh juice for this recipe.
Tools And Equipment For This Recipe
Le Creuset Signature Deep Dutch Oven: This is my absolute favorite dutch oven and I use it all the time. Its large capacity makes it perfect for one-pot dishes like this ricotta and lemon pasta. It’s pricey but it is super versatile and will last you a lifetime.
Powder-Coated Colander Set: This is a great set of colanders that come in three different sizes. I use them for everything from washing vegetables to draining pasta.
Garlic Press: I love this garlic press because it’s easy to use and clean. It’s also dishwasher safe, which is always a bonus.
One Pot Pasta With Ricotta And Lemon
- 1 pound casarecce pasta or your preferred type
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 8 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 2 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh basil finely sliced
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.
- Add the peas to the pasta for the last 5 minutes of the cooking time.
- Drain the pasta and peas and reserve ¾ cup of the pasta water. Do not rinse the pasta and peas.
- Return the pot to the stovetop and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add the whole milk ricotta cheese, parmesan, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and dried basil and stir to combine.
- Add the reserved pasta water to the ricotta mixture and stir until well combined and the sauce is hot.
- Add the cooked pasta and peas to the and stir to combine.
- Serve the pasta with a sprinkle of finely sliced fresh basil, extra parmesan cheese, and lemon slices.
* Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content may vary based on brands of ingredients used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.