Creamy Lemon & Fresh Ricotta Pasta

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There are times when I’m just 100% unmotivated to make dinner.   No desire to cook whatsoever.  Even the thought of boiling a pot of water for pasta seems way to difficult.  Have you ever felt like this?  I can’t stand it when I feel too lazy to cook.  I always end up eating some type of unhealthy, not really great tasting take out or delivery.  Like the last delivery pizza we got (name to be left unmentioned).  Cold pizza, not great and it was cut into squares.  Squares?  No, this couldn’t go on!  I can do so much better than cold, flavorless pizza!  I would find an effortless dinner to make!


ricottapasta1 On my quest to discover an effortless (aka lazy) recipe to prepare I ended up creating one of my all time favorite pasta dishes.  I had an inkling this searching would lead me to a pasta dish.  I mean, boiling water is pretty effortless.  And although the pasta is pretty simple to make, I couldn’t fold to using jarred pasta sauce.  Eh, not very exciting.   I know I can do better than that!

ricottapasta5 Digging around in the pantry and fridge, I came upon some leftover ricotta cheese and a lemon.  I could totally make something with this!  I figured I’d thin out the ricotta with some lemon juice and pasta water to make a short-cut alfredo type sauce.  A little parmesan cheese sprinkled on top…sounded like a delicious plan of action.


ricottapasta4 Miraculously…(and I mean miraculously because its rare I just throw stuff together in a pot in and it comes out tasting semi delicious) the ricotta thinned out nicely and coated the pasta like an alfredo.  Just like I wanted!  The ricotta had a nice bright freshness from the lemon and the parmesan cheese provided a nice salty bite.  This pasta is so rich and creamy and delicious!  So next time you feel like ordering take out, make a giant pot of this lemon ricotta pasta.  You’ll be so happy you did!

Creamy Lemon & Fresh Ricotta Pasta:

  • 1 lb pasta 
  • 1 lemon – juice and zest
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 – 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water (reserve after pasta has cooked in the water)
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Make sure to reserve about 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
  3. In a medium pot add ricotta, about 1/3 cup of reserved pasta water, lemon zest, salt and pepper and heat over medium low heat.  Stir to combine and begin thinning out ricotta.
  4. Continue adding pasta water until the ricotta thins until a alfredo sauce like consistency.  You may not need to use all of the pasta water.  Add parmesan cheese and taste for seasoning.
  5. Pour ricotta sauce over drained pasta.  Stir to combine.  Add in the lemon juice to the ricotta pasta mixture and stir gently to combine.
  6. Serve immediately.

You tell me!  What’s your favorite type of take out?  Do you have a “lazy day” recipe to share?  What’s your favorite type of pasta sauce?

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