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Pasta with Ricotta, Herbs, and Lemon

Photo: Kana Okada
Prep time 10 mins
Other time 10 mins
Yield Makes 4 servings
Chopped fresh herbs and a splash of lemon juice provide bright flavor for this simple pasta dish.


  • 1 1-pound box penne
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as chervil, tarragon, and flat-leaf parsley)
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Information

  • calcium 159.82 mg
  • calories 573.42
  • caloriesfromfat 24 %
  • carbohydrate 87 g
  • cholesterol 46.68 mg
  • fat 15.36 g
  • fiber 3.94 g
  • iron 4.23 mg
  • protein 22.65 mg
  • satfat 9.21 g
  • sodium 271.26 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserving 1/3 cup of the water, drain the pasta, then return it to the pot. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, ricotta, and pasta water until a rich, creamy sauce forms. Pour the sauce over the hot pasta. Add the herbs, zest, salt, and pepper and toss.

    Tip: Ricotta can vary dramatically in taste and texture. Depending on the brand you use, you may need to add extra pasta water and butter to create a sauce that's sufficiently creamy.