Pasta with Ricotta, Herbs, and Lemon

Photo: Kana Okada

Chopped fresh herbs and a splash of lemon juice provide bright flavor for this simple pasta dish.

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Recipe from Real Simple

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Recipe Time

Prep Time:
Other: 10 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calcium: 159.82mg
  • Calories: 573.42
  • Calories from fat: 24%
  • Carbohydrate: 87g
  • Cholesterol: 46.68mg
  • Fat: 15.36g
  • Fiber: 3.94g
  • Iron: 4.23mg
  • Protein: 22.65mg
  • Saturated fat: 9.21g
  • Sodium: 271.26mg


  • 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


  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.
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