I have teamed up with some fellow Instagrammers for this post. The theme is pea recipes for spring. So, in light of that I decided to make this Easy Lemon Pasta with Peas and Ricotta Recipe.
After deciding what I wanted to make I got on the internet to get some ideas and found a ton of recipes for dishes like this. The recipe that inspired me the most was Rachael Ray’s. The original recipe calls for you to reserve a 1/2 cup of the pasta water and add it into the dish at the end. Mine ended up having plenty of creamy sauce, so I skipped that step.
I left all of the fresh herbs out because I don’t have those on hand. I have to buy them at my local grocery store and they are about $2 for each package. Then I end up having some leftover and end up spending more for groceries, trying to come up with ways to use the rest of the fresh herbs. So for me, I only make recipes with fresh herbs occasionally. I also find that many recipes are just fine without them.
That got me thinking that other people would be like this too. I just thought that this recipe would be easier and more affordable without them. That also means that the shelf life of these ingredients is pretty long, so this dish is a good one to make towards the end of your grocery cycle. Meaning you can make this dish say, the day before you go grocery shopping.
Grocery shopping tip
Make your menu based on using the freshest ingredients on the days following your shopping trip, and use the ingredients that are canned or frozen on the days right before you are going to be shopping again.
I also try to keep the ingredients for a pantry or freezer type meal on hand, in case we are busy and can’t get to the grocery store on the normal day.
Table of contents
See recipe card for exact amounts.
Dry Pasta – we use ziti, any short cut of pasta will work.
Creamy Ricotta Cheese – we use either whole milk ricotta or part-skim ricotta. I prefer the part skim to lower the fat and calories but sometimes the grocery store I shop at doesn’t have it so I just use the full fat ricotta.
Parmesan Cheese – if it is available I buy the block and grate it fresh, if it isn’t available then I buy the pre-shredded. Either works great.
Sweet Peas – frozen peas are key because they are sturdier, canned peas would probably be too mushy for this dish. I have never used fresh peas to make this dish but think they would work.
Chicken Stock – we always use store bought low sodium broth. I just don’t ever have time to make my own.
Shallots – these are in the onion family but a little different than yellow or red onion. If I buy them at Walmart they come in a small plastic container that is on a shelf near the potatoes, if i buy them at Kroger they are loose inthe produce section near the other onions. Masterclass has a great article about shallots if you want more info about them.
Olive Oil – we have used anything from extra virgin to light tasting for this dish, they all work great.
Butter – we use unsalted real butter for this dish.
Garlic – I am all about convenience so I almost always use the minced garlic that comes in the jar, fresh can be used.
Lemon – you will be using the lemon zest as well as freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Salt & Black Pepper
How to Make Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Cook pasta al dente, about 1 minute less than package instructions indicate.
- While the pasta cooks heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add butter, shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper; cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add broth and reduce heat to medium-low to low heat, add peas and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in Ricotta and mix until well incorporated, add lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Add the cooked pasta and grated Parmesan cheese and mix until combined, heating up for a couple of minutes or until the everything is warmed through.
- Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
You can reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water in case your pasta is too dry. I always do this but have never had to add it into the dish at the end.
When I first started making this dish I mixed everything in the large pot I cooked the pasta in because my skillet wasn’t big enough. I have since bought a braiser pan (like you see in these pictures) and I am able to just add everything into it.
You can add cubed pancetta, about a cup or so. You will probably need to add the reserved pasta water like I talked about above.
Fresh mint, fresh flat leaf parsley, fresh basil, or fresh thyme can be added. I usually don’t do this for the reason mentioned at the top of this post.
A bit of red pepper flakes can be added to give this dish a little kick.
What you will like about this easy recipe
- It’s pasta so it is comforting.
- The creaminess of the ricotta cheese combined with the fresh taste of the green peas and the bright lemony taste. It somehow makes you feel like we are eating something good for you.
- There is no meat so it is the perfect dish for Meatless Monday.
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Easy Lemon Pasta with Peas and Ricotta Recipe ↓
Pasta with Peas and Ricotta
- 1 pound short cut pasta I use ziti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup shallots chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1 container Ricotta cheese 15 ounces
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
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- Cook pasta 1 minutes less than package directions.1 pound short cut pasta
- While the pasta cooks heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add butter, shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper; cook for 3 minutes. Add broth and reduce heat to medium-low, add peas and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in Ricotta and mix until well incorporated, Add lemon juice and zest.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup shallots, 3 cloves garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 cups frozen peas, 1 container Ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, zest of 1 lemon
- Mix sauce with pasta and Parmesan cheese, (I did this in the pan I cooked the pasta in because everything would not fit in the skillet).1 cup Parmesan cheese