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NYT Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta is a quick pasta perfect for summer. To make the sauce, you add ricotta, cheese, tomatoes, and pasta water to your pot with pasta, and mix long and well. Season with salt, pepper, chili flakes, and herbs you have dinner. I got this recipe from NYT Cooking and adapted it a little. I found that the original recipe had too much lemon and called for an excessive amount of cheese which made the dish heavy. I also scaled the recipe down so it now serves two people.

TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes



8 oz. short pasta (ex: penne, rigatoni, farfalle, etc.)

Scant ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese

¼ cup parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Handful of cherry tomatoes (sliced)

Handful of chopped basil or parsley

Chili flakes (to taste)

Salt (to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


  1. Boil pasta according to box instructions, but remove it 1 minute before what the instructions say. Make sure to salt the pasta water before boiling. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining.

  2. In the same pot, add ricotta, cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, tomatoes, herbs, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Then add in the pasta, and mix well on a low flame. Slowly add about half a cup of the pasta water and mix well until the sauce is silky and doesn't have any clumps.

  3. Serve with more cheese, pepper, chili flakes, and herbs.


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