Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach, a light and creamy summer dish that is deliciously refreshing and super easy to make. It's ready in under 15 minutes, and it makes a perfect midweek meal in summer or any other time of the year.
I have made countless pasta dishes over the years, and I tend to go back to the favourite ones again and again. Especially since the kids are big fans of spaghetti bolognese, I end up making it so often. But I do like whipping up something a bit different from time to time, just to get their little taste buds used to a more varied menu.
And this ricotta spaghetti is absolutely delicious. It's incredibly light and fresh, given the lemon zest and juice, and the ricotta has the perfect creamy texture that coats the pasta so well. And there is hardly any prep involved here.
The spinach can be optional, but then it adds not only colour, but also more goodness to it, so I do recommend using it. If kids are fussy about it, you can chop it up finely to hide it with the ricotta sauce.
Spinach and ricotta are a fantastic combo, I used it in my Spinach and Ricotta Pinwheels, which make such delicious bites for everyone. For a more fancy dinner, this Healthy Turkey Lasagna with Spinach and Ricotta is the absolute best.
- spaghetti - or any other pasta shape
- ricotta cheese
- olive oil
- fresh spinach
- parmesan cheese - to garnish
- salt and pepper - to taste
Step-by-step photos and instructions
As promised, this dish is super quick and easy to make. We only need a few simple ingredients, which should be easily available from any supermarket.
- spaghetti - you can use any other shape though
- lemon - both juice and zest
- spinach - I used fresh, but frozen can also be used
- olive oil - l wouldn't replace it with regular cooking oil, this one works amazingly well with pasta
- Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions.
- Two minutes before the pasta is ready, add the fresh spinach leaves, and allow them to wilt
- Reserve a quarter of a cup of the water in which the pasta cooked, and drain the rest
- In a bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon juice and zest and olive oil
- Add the reserved water to the ricotta mixture, and mix again to make a smooth pasta
- Pour this over the pasta and spinach, and use a fork to combine it well
- Serve with plenty of parmesan cheese
This pasta is as delicious as it looks. I highly recommend serving it immediately, when the dish gets cold, the ricotta sauce tends to harden. It can still be reheated though, but I prefer it fresh.
The spinach can be replaced with any other greens of your choice: kale, cavolo nero, or even mixed salad leaves. They need minimal cooking, so just follow the exact same steps.
For a bit of a texture, you can add mixed nuts to the dish, walnuts and pine nuts would work particularly well. You can use them just to garnish the dish, rather than mix them in the sauce.
For a more filling dish, you can add cooked chicken, bacon, ham or sausages, I can guarantee that even fussy little ones will give that a go. What a treat!
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Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach
- 200 g spaghetti (7 oz)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- a handful of spinach
- 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese to garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- 2 minutes before the pasta is ready, add the fresh spinach to the pot and allow it to wilt.
- Reserve ¼ cup of the water in which the pasta cooked, and drain the rest.
- In a bowl, mix the ricotta, lemon juice and zest and olive oil.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour over the reserved water, and mix well to get a paste.
- Pour the paste over the drained spaghetti, and mix well.
- Serve immediately with parmesan cheese.