Recipe 62: Lemony Ricotta Pasta with Basil

Summer isn’t the best season for mac and cheese, lets be honest.  It’s so hot you don’t want to fire up the oven or load up on carbs.  But there is an exception to every rule.  I saw this recipe and decided with the lemon and fresh basil, it would be perfect for summer.

Lemony Ricotta Pasta with Basil (from The Kitchn)


  • 1 pound pasta, small shapes, like rotini, penne, fusilli, and gemelli (I used corn elbows)
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese, preferably freshly-made
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I used Pecorino-Romano, as I tend to prefer it)
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (I used Kosher)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, sliced into a chiffonade


Set a pot of water to boil. When it boils, add a few teaspoons of salt and the pasta.

In a metal bowl wide enough to fit over the top of the pot (or glass; that’s what I used), mix together the ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, juice and zest of lemon, salt, and black pepper. When there are about 2 minutes remaining in the pasta’s cooking time, place the bowl over the pot and slowly stir the ricotta and other ingredients. You should see it loosening as it warms.

When the pasta is al dente, drain it, add the basil to the bowl of sauce and toss with the drained pasta. Serve immediately.

VERDICT: 3.5/5 – The flavor is pretty great, but I actually could do with more lemon.  Maybe use lemon pepper or a lemon-flavored olive oil to amp things up.  Also, while the flavor was there, the texture left me wanting.  Maybe Loverman’s usual suggestion of chicken would work, but I think also shrimp or even tempeh would be at home here.  But with the lemon, the basil, and the ricotta, this was a perfectly light meal for summer.

Here’s a question, Weekly Mackers: if I made a Twitter feed, would you follow it?  I don’t have one right now, but I’m toying with the idea.  Let me know either way!


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