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Zesty Lemon Ricotta Pasta

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Zesty Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Sometimes, weeknights can get busy, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a quick and tasteless meal! 

This zesty lemon ricotta pasta is a simple and easy weeknight dinner and the perfect pick-me-up for low-energy days! 

Once the middle of the week hits, finding the motivation to cook a detailed dinner is a lot harder than it sounds. That’s why this is such a great recipe! With hardly any effort and only a few ingredients, you can be enjoying the zest, creamy deliciousness of a home-cooked meal! 


How to Make Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Begin this recipe by gathering all of your ingredients. You’ll need a short pasta like Gemelli or Penne, ricotta cheese, lemon juice and zest, parmesan, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. If you are wanting to up the ante on this recipe, opt for fresh ingredients like lemons and parmesan as well as a hearty garnish of freshly chopped basil. 

lemon ricotta pasta recipe ingredients: pasta, basil, garlic, parmesan, ricotta, lemon juice, and lemon zest


By far the longest part of this process is getting the pasta noodles cooked, so begin making this recipe by preparing the pasta. Bring water to a boil in a large pot and sprinkle in some salt. 

While the pasta is cooking, get some of the other ingredients ready. Grate the parmesan cheese and garlic cloves and squeeze any lemons or grate any lemon zest. Chop the basil if you are looking to add some sharpness to your dinner!

Cook the pasta until it is al dente before straining it and setting it aside. Reserve about a cup of the pasta water to use later in the lemon ricotta sauce. 

At this point, do not rinse the pasta. Rinsing it will cool the noodles, which isn’t necessary for this recipe!

lemon ricotta pasta recipe: spiral pasta noodles

lemon ricotta pasta recipe: boiling water

lemon ricotta pasta recipe: reserved pasta water in measuring cup


After the pasta has been drained, combine the ricotta cheese, lemon juice and zest, parmesan cheese, garlic, and spices in the same pot used to boil the noodles. Over medium-low heat, stir the mixture until it becomes a creamy sauce.


lemon ricotta pasta recipe: sauce ingredients in pot

lemon ricotta pasta recipe: creamy sauce


Add the pasta back into the pot and mix to coat the noodles evenly in the sauce. If the sauce is too thin for your liking, pour in small amounts of the reserved pasta water until it reaches a deliciously creamy consistency. 

lemon ricotta pasta recipe: noodles with sauce in pot


After your pasta has had a moment to settle with the sauce and absorb its medley of flavor, plate it and top with a sprinkle of fresh basil! 

lemon ricotta pasta in bowl


lemon ricotta pasta in bowl

Table & Thyme’s Zesty Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Savor the flavors of tangy lemon and buttery ricotta in each creamy bite of this delicious weeknight pasta! 


  • 1 pound of Gemelli or other short pasta
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest 
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons or 2-3 cloves of garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½-1 cup reserved pasta water


  1. Bring water to a boil in your pot with a large three-finger pinch of salt. Once it’s boiling, add your pasta and cook until al-dente (usually about 1 - 2 minutes less than the instructions say, taste a noodle to test).
  2. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain it and set the pasta aside. Do not rinse the pasta.
  3. To the same pot you just used to cook your pasta, add the ricotta cheese, lemon zest and juice, parmesan cheese, grated garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  4. Add your pasta back into the pot with the sauce along with ½ cup of reserved pasta water. Mix until well combined, adding more reserved pasta water as needed to thin it out to your liking.

Thanks for checking out our recipe for Zesty Lemon Ricotta Pasta! If you tried it, let us know how it turned out by connecting with us on social media. We share tons of recipes from weeknight dinners like this one to refreshing drinks and decadent desserts, so be sure to visit our Instagram and our blog for our full recipe collection! We also cater a range of high-end events, which we share on our grazing table gallery, and offer a variety of gourmet dining experiences including our one-of-a-kind grazing tables and our graze boxes. Don’t miss any of the exciting and appetizing content we share and stay tuned for more! 

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