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Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Arugula

Zesty Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Arugula. Picture this: creamy ricotta cheese melds beautifully with zesty lemon and peppery arugula, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that dance on your palate. This pasta dish is not just a treat for your taste buds but also a feast for the eyes. It’s light, vibrant, and oh-so-easy to prepare, making it perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a special gathering with friends.

Resume of the recipe: This Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Arugula is a delightful symphony of flavors. The creamy ricotta cheese is infused with fresh lemon zest and juice, creating a light yet satisfying sauce that clings to every strand of pasta. The addition of arugula brings a peppery bite that balances the creaminess perfectly. Ready in under 30 minutes, this dish is a quick and elegant solution for busy nights or impromptu dinner parties.

Exciting Story: The first time I made this Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Arugula was on a lazy Sunday afternoon. My family and I had just returned from a trip to the farmer’s market, where we picked up fresh arugula, lemons, and a tub of the creamiest ricotta cheese. As I started zesting the lemons, the kitchen filled with a delightful citrus aroma that instantly uplifted our spirits. Mixing the ricotta with the lemon juice and zest, I could already tell this dish was going to be something special. The final touch of tossing in the fresh arugula added a pop of color and a burst of flavor that made every bite feel like a celebration of fresh, simple ingredients. This dish has since become a family favorite, especially during the spring and summer months.

Why This Lemon Ricotta Pasta With Arugula?

Selling Points:

  • Bright and Refreshing: The zesty lemon and peppery arugula create a fresh and vibrant flavor profile.
  • Creamy and Satisfying: The ricotta cheese provides a creamy texture without being overly heavy.
  • Quick and Easy: Ready in under 30 minutes, this dish is perfect for busy weeknights or a quick, elegant meal.

Ingredients

1 lb Mezzi rigatoni or any other short pasta
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup finely grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons), plus extra wedges for serving
2 cups arugula
Chili flakes, for serving
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Olive oil, for serving
Thinly sliced or torn basil leaves, for serving (optional)

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Preparation

Step 1: Cook the Pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Sauce

In the same pot or a large skillet, combine the ricotta cheese, finely grated Parmesan cheese, freshly grated lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Mix until well combined.

Step 3: Incorporate Pasta Water

Gradually stir in about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Adjust the consistency with more pasta water if necessary.

Step 4: Combine Pasta and Sauce

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Toss vigorously to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated with the creamy lemon ricotta sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more of the reserved pasta water until you reach your desired consistency.

Step 5: Add Arugula

Gently fold in the fresh arugula until it’s wilted slightly from the heat of the pasta.

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