Lemon is our ingredient of the season! So far we’ve used it in a buckle, in bars, and in the shower. Oh, and there are two on my counter waiting for our next project!
After all of our desserts and drinks in the lemon category, are you ready to try something savory? This Lemon Ricotta Pasta is the perfect savory use of lemon. The citrus takes a pasta dish that could feel heavy when mixed with two cheeses and lightens it up, perfect for a summer dinner on the deck.
As you’ll see, this dish is also crazy easy to make. After an early morning flight back to Colorado yesterday, our family is still in recovery mode and trying to get back into a routine. It’s weeks like these when I like to cut myself a break and keep dinner simple while still actually cooking because I find that even simple dinners are key to helping us regain a routine.
While I’m on the praise train, I have to mention that this is also the perfect meal on a hot summer night when you may want something cooked, but you don’t want to heat up the whole house. You’re going to cook the pasta, and while the water’s boiling, you warm up the sauce ingredients in a make-shift double-boiler over the pasta water. Make sure to do that in a large bowl, because when the pasta’s done cooking, you can toss that right into the bowl with the sauce ingredients, mix it up, and dinner is ready!
- 1 pound of pasta in a small shape
- 2 cups ricotta cheese, try to pick up a partial or full fat variety
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for the pasta water
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus extra for the pasta water
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Fill a pot with enough water for the pasta and set it to boil, adding a few teaspoons of salt and some olive oil to the water. When the water begins boiling, add the pasta and set your timer for it to cook.
- Meanwhile, in a metal bowl wide enough to sit over the pasta pot, mix together the sauce ingredients : ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice & zest, salt, and black pepper. Once there are about two minutes left in the pasta's cooking time, place the bowl over the pot of pasta, and slowly stir the sauce ingredients. The cheeses will begin to soften and warm.
- Once the pasta is done cooking, drain it and immediately add it to the sauce bowl. Stir until the pasta is coated with sauce and enjoy!
In making this dish, I was reminded of how much fun pasta shapes are for kids. As I mentioned in the recipe, you definitely want to go with a smaller shape that will hold the ricotta sauce will ~ something with nooks and crannies. Without much thought I picked up wagon wheels, and they turned out to be such a bit hit with little A (how did I not see that coming?)! He loves anything having to do with cars and trucks, especially monster trucks. In his eyes, these were huge monster truck wheels! It was so much fun to see him get excited about the shape that I’m already planning our next small-shaped-pasta dinner. It’s going to be shells this time, because the kiddo loves all things ocean (he’s an Octonauts fanatic!).
Do you have a favorite shell pasta recipe? Let us know in the comments!