Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Zest Up Your Dinner: Lemon Ricotta Pasta – A Citrusy Symphony of Flavors

In the realm of comforting pasta dishes, the Lemon Ricotta Pasta stands out as a luminous star, effortlessly marrying the richness of ricotta with the bright, zesty notes of lemon. This culinary creation is not just a meal; it’s an experience, offering a symphony of flavors that dance on your palate. Join us on a gastronomic journey as we unravel the secrets behind crafting the perfect Lemon Ricotta Pasta, a dish that elevates your dinner to a whole new level.


For the Pasta:

  • 8 oz (about 225g) of your favorite pasta
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Garnish:

  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook the Pasta:
    • Begin by cooking the pasta according to the package instructions. Remember to generously salt the boiling water for perfectly seasoned pasta.
  2. Prepare the Ricotta Mixture:
    • In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly to create a velvety and citrus-infused ricotta mixture.
  3. Sauté the Aromatics:
    • In a large skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, ensuring not to let it brown.
  4. Integrate Ricotta and Pasta:
    • Once the pasta is cooked al dente, transfer it directly from the pot to the skillet with the garlic. Reserve some pasta water before draining, as it might be needed later.
    • Toss the pasta with the garlic-infused oil until well-coated.
  5. Add the Ricotta Mixture:
    • Gently fold in the lemon ricotta mixture, ensuring each strand of pasta is enveloped in the creamy goodness. If the sauce seems too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water to achieve the desired consistency.
  6. Season and Garnish:
    • Season the dish with salt and pepper to taste. The lemony brightness of the dish should be balanced with a pinch of salt.
    • Garnish the Lemon Ricotta Pasta with freshly chopped basil leaves and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.

Cook Notes:

  • Perfectly Al Dente Pasta: Cooking the pasta al dente is crucial for this dish. It ensures that the pasta maintains a satisfying texture when combined with the creamy ricotta.
  • Balancing Citrus Notes: The lemon zest and juice add a burst of freshness. Adjust the quantities to your preference, ensuring a harmonious balance with the richness of the ricotta.
  • Pasta Water Magic: The reserved pasta water is a valuable tool. Add a little at a time to adjust the sauce consistency, providing silkiness without overwhelming thickness.
  • Varietal Ricotta: Experiment with different types of ricotta, including whole milk or part-skim varieties, to find the one that suits your taste and texture preferences.


Cherry Tomato Burst:

  • Add a burst of sweetness and color by tossing in halved cherry tomatoes. Sauté them briefly with the garlic for a delightful burst of flavor.

Spinach and Nutmeg Elegance:

  • Introduce baby spinach to the skillet and sauté until wilted. Grate a touch of nutmeg for an elegant and aromatic twist.

Protein Powerhouse:

  • Boost the protein content by incorporating grilled chicken, shrimp, or smoked salmon. Their savory profiles complement the citrusy ricotta beautifully.

Keto Version:

  • Swap traditional pasta for spiralized zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles for a low-carb alternative.
  • Choose a whole milk or part-skim ricotta with minimal carbohydrates.
  • Adjust the quantity of lemon juice to manage carb intake while preserving the citrusy essence.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Opt for low-carb pasta alternatives such as almond flour pasta or konjac noodles.
  • Use a low-carb sweetener in the ricotta mixture instead of the lemon juice if desired.
  • Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese judiciously to minimize carbohydrate content.

The Lemon Ricotta Pasta is more than a dinner; it’s a culinary journey through contrasting flavors that harmonize beautifully. From the citrusy brightness of lemon to the creamy richness of ricotta, each bite is a revelation. This dish exemplifies the simplicity of Italian cuisine while providing a canvas for creative variations. Whether you adhere to a keto lifestyle, prefer a low-carb option, or savor the classic rendition, the Lemon Ricotta Pasta invites you to experience the versatility and delight of a dish that truly stands the test of time. So, zest up your dinner table with this citrusy symphony and savor the magic of Lemon Ricotta Pasta!

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