Orecchiette and Arugula with Creamy Ricotta Sauce

Fresh ricotta creates an incredibly creamy sauce for this easy pasta dish; try this recipe with any of your other favorite pasta shapes. If the arugula at your market does not look great, substitute fresh basil.

Yield: 8 servings
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 319
  • Calories from fat: 25%
  • Fat: 8.7g
  • Saturated fat: 4.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.8g
  • Protein: 16.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 43.5g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 22mg
  • Iron: 1.1mg
  • Sodium: 450mg
  • Calcium: 265mg


  • 6 quarts water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 pound uncooked orecchiette (
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Homemade Ricotta Cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 cups thinly sliced trimmed arugula
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 5 medium)


  1. Bring 6 quarts water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Stir in pasta; cook 12 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
  2. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, Homemade Ricotta Cheese, 1/4 cup pecorino, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl, stirring well. Add hot pasta, 1/4 cup reserved cooking water, and arugula; toss well to coat. Add additional cooking water if sauce is too thick. Spoon about 1 1/4 cups pasta mixture onto each of 8 plates. Top each serving with 1/4 cup tomato and 1 tablespoon pecorino. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Serve immediately.
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