My daughter was home from university last weekend and noticed a small container of ricotta cheese in the fridge. Lately, I have been spreading it on toast, then showering it with lemon zest and capers, adding few slices of smoked salmon, and finishing with tons of fresh chopped dill for a fabulous and easy lunch.
My little doll likes to decompress from all her studies, and endless sorority duties by watching U-Tube cooking videos. There she discovered that ricotta makes the most sublime creamy pasta sauce. We quickly put that new found knowledge to work whipping up this Creamy Ricotta Pasta with Broccolinni. It would be perfect for a quick week night dinner, or in our case, a well deserved indulgent lunch.
I absolutely love what the kids are learning in college these days.
- 1 pkg pasta I used gf penne
- handful of kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 6 stalks of broccolinni chopped, or small broccoli florets
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a large handful of kosher salt, return to boil
Add pasta, stir and cook 2 mins shy of the package recommended cooking time
Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and set aside, drain pasta
In the meantime, in a large skillet add the olive oil, heat over med/high heat
Add the shallots and broccolinni, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, and cook until soft but not browned, approx 4-5 mins
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook another minute
Now add the ricotta, lemon zest and 1/4 of the scooped out pasta water, stirring until nice and creamy
You may have to add a bit more water to get the desired consistencey, adding a tablespoon at a time
Add the pasta stirring until it is well coated with the sauce
Turn off the heat and add the parmesan while continuing to stir
Ladle into warmed bowls and top with more parmesan cheese and fresh ground black pepper
Note: sometimes when I am in a hurry I add the broccolinni, or any other fresh vegetable, to the pasta while it is cooking. Add about 1-2 minutes before you were planning to drain.