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Easy Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus

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4.9 from 17 reviews

This EASY, 20 minute, lemon, ricotta pasta with asparagus is simple, fresh, and tastes like spring! The creamy cheese and pop of lemon is just what my heart desires this time of year. The best part? You only need one pot to make it!

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 cloves garlic, cut in quarters
  • 1 pound asparagus (cut into pieces and stems removed)
  • 1 pound campanelle or farfalle pasta (or other desired pasta)
  • 1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) finely grated parmigiano (parmesan cheese)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
  • 8 leaves of fresh mint and (torn with hands to prevent them from getting brown- metal knives are harsh on fresh leaves)
  • 8 leaves of fresh basil (torn with hands to prevent them from getting brown)
  • **If you using dried herbs use 1 tablespoon of each since herbs are more potent when dried
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Salt for pasta water


  1. Mix parmigiano cheese with zest of one lemon in a small bowl- set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add garlic to boiling water. Let boil 3 minutes. Add the cut asparagus to the boiling water and garlic. Add the pasta to the boiling water, garlic, and asparagus. Cook pasta according to package instructions- al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water before straining.
  3. Strain the pasta, garlic and asparagus.
  4. Quickly add them back to the empty pot with 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, grated parmigiano and lemon zest mixture, olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook on medium heat for one minute (not more!), tossing constantly. Add a splash more cooking water if pasta looks too dry.
  5. Turn heat off, dollop ricotta all over in large spoonfuls and, without stirring, tip pasta mixture into a wide serving bowl.
  6. Drizzle pasta with a small amount of olive oil, fresh ground black pepper, then squeeze lemon juice over the whole dish, sprinkle with mint and basil and finish with an extra sprinkling of parmigiano. Gently toss right before serving


Pro Tips

  • Use high quality whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Wait to add the ricotta until the end
  • Make sure to reserve enough pasta water to create the sauce
  • Freshly grate the parmigiano and the lemon zest. Use a MICROPLANE for best results.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian