Quick and easy pasta recipes are my go-to meal during the week when I need something fast at dinnertime. It always seems that pasta, no matter what kind, pleases most palates. I can spend hours marinating, or roasting a good piece of meat or chicken, but pasta always achieves more crowd approval from my family. During the summertime, I like to keep my pasta recipes light and refreshing, using just a couple of ingredients that I have in my refrigerator and a lemon always seems to perk things up.
Lemon zest should never be underestimated in cooking. In fact, in most recipes you could add a teaspoon, or two just to give lift and brightness to any dish, a flavor that you can’t always achieve using salt or dried herbs. Mixing lemon zest into whole milk ricotta makes an amazing sauce when tossed with warm pasta and a splash of reserved pasta water will bring it all together within a matter of minutes. I love using bow-tie pasta in this recipe not only because it’s cute as heck, but the end ridges and crannies soak up the creamy lemon sauce, creating a perfect bite every time.
I love this recipe as an entree, but if you’re looking for an easy side dish to serve with grilled fish or vegetables, it’s pretty useful both ways. This pasta is something to keep in your reserves for those evenings when you crave deliciousness quickly, and you don’t want to skimp on taste.
12 ounces bow-tie pasta
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese – divided
salt & pepper
- Boil pasta for 9 minutes, reserving 1 cup pasta water, drain.
- In a small bowl, combine ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley, set aside.
- Place cooked pasta back into pot and add ricotta mixture, toss.
- Add 1/4 cup pasta water, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and parsley, toss. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add more pasta water if necessary to thin sauce.
- Place pasta in serving bowl and top with remaining Parmesan. Enjoy!