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One pot lemon ricotta pasta in bowl with forks.
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5 from 3 votes

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Simple creamy and so refreshing, this one pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta is a 20 minute meal that is so effortless. Dinner comes together in just one dish and is full of flavor and even veggies. Serve with fresh bread and a salad and dinner is complete!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 6
Calories: 521kcal
Author: Lorie Yarro

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta (cavatappi is what I used) I prefer short pasta
  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • grated parmesan freshly shredded will work too
  • c olive oil
  • 2 - 3 T fresh lemon juice approx. juice from one lemon
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 6 oz chopped baby spinach
  • 1 - 1 ½ c reserved pasta water

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
  • While pasta boils, whisk together ricotta, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, italian seasoning, salt and pepper to combine. Set aside.
  • Before draining the pasta, scoop about 1 ½ to 2 cups of the pasta water and reserve for the lemon ricotta sauce.
  • Drain the pasta in a large colander and toss with spinach to wilt. Set aside.
  • Add the ricotta mixture and one cup of the pasta water to the pot used to boil the pasta over medium low heat. Stir until smooth and creamy, slowly adding more water to desired thickness. Add the pasta and spinach into the pot and toss well to coat the pasta evenly.
  • Make any adjustments to seasoning and remove from heat. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and chopped parsley or basil on top.
  • Store leftovers for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • When serving this lemon ricotta pasta the next day, you may need to add milk or oil. This pasta dish will keep and make delicious leftovers. You can store for about 5 days in an air tight container. When reheating, stir in a splash of milk or cream, or even some olive oil if the sauce has dried up or been absorbed into the pasta.
  • Don't forget the reserved pasta water! This is the part I always forget when making recipes like this. Nothing really works like the starchy water. If you do forget, don't fret. You can combine about a ¼ teaspoon of corn starch and ¼ teaspoon sea salt with one cup of cold water and stir well to combine. Microwave it for about two minutes, stir and then heat another 2 minutes. This is a great substitute for pasta water!
  • In a time crunch? Use a pasta that is ready to go! There are ready pasta pouches in the pasta aisle for those nights when you just don't have tons of time. Microwave, toss with the spinach and then add to the sauce stove top. You will easily save 10 minutes!

Nutrition

Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 283mg | Potassium: 417mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2979IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 2mg