I think that pasta is probably my favorite comfort food out there. You can pair it with a sauce that took all day or one that took just ten minutes and either way, it ends up being a delicious and comforting dish. This particular pasta, Lemon Ricotta Spaghetti, is more of the ‘ten minute’ type of pasta – it’ll take you barely more time than it does to cook the noodles. It’s incredibly quick, and its creamy lemony flavor is one you’ll want to come back to again and again and again.
When I’m hungry and in a hurry, I have been known to just resort to tossing pasta in butter and noodles and calling it good. It is good, but something like this dish takes about the same amount of time and is so much more satisfying! You make the sauce while the spaghetti cooks, so it doesn’t really add on any extra time.
And by “make the sauce,” I really mean that you stir a few things together. It’s a quick mixture of ricotta, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and chili flake. You just stir those all together, and once the pasta is done, you add the pasta, the ricotta mixture, a bit of reserved pasta water, and some arugula to the hot pot. The residual heats melts the cheese and brings it all together in mere moments.
I happen to be a big arugula fan and I think its peppery bite is the perfect contrast here to the bright and creamy ricotta sauce, but if you’re not as much of a fan you can use spinach or even basil in its stead. It’s a versatile method, so you can pair the ricotta with whatever you have on hand and the results are always delicious.
Quick Lemon Ricotta Spaghetti
5m prep time
10m cook time
- 1/2 lb spaghetti
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon extra olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flake (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and chili flake, if using. Season with salt and pepper stir to combine.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain well.
- Return spaghetti, ricotta sauce, reserved pasta water, and arugula to the pot and stir to coat the pasta in sauce, adding more pasta water if needed.
- Serve with additional parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from The Clever Meal.