Creamy One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon

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Coated with creamy ricotta cheese and tangy lemon, this one pot pasta with ricotta and lemon is a quick & easy meal that tastes like you’ve been transported to Italy! It requires just a handful of simple ingredients and just one simple pot for a perfect meal any night of the week.

white bowl with lemon ricotta pasta and fresh basil.

This post was sponsored by Wildgrain, the first bake-from-frozen subscription bread box!

I first tried Wildgrain last year and was amazed at the incredible quality of the real slow-fermented sourdough, exquisite pastries, and delicious desserts. Wildgrain works with artisan bakeries around the US to source the absolute highest quality baked goods and pasta, and they ship them fully frozen to your door! See my full Wildgrain review here.

I’m a little bit obsessed with one pot pasta recipes. This one-pot ricotta lemon pasta recipe has been on our rotation for a while now because it’s just the perfect celebration of summer! It’s also incredibly easy to adapt to your preferences. Start with the basic lemon ricotta sauce, but then make it your own by adding seasonal veggies, like fresh spinach or peas. Once you make it once, you’ll want to enjoy this easy one-pot pasta all summer long!

Why you’ll love this

  • Light & refreshing: Although we often think of pasta as being overly heavy, this delicious dish has a bright, summery flavor thanks to the lemon and parmesan cheese.
  • Authentic flavors: Using handmade artisan pasta shipped frozen to your door from Wildgrain, the pasta itself becomes the star of the show. Each bite has more texture and flavor than the boxed stuff!
  • One pot wonder: Who doesn’t love a one pot pasta dish? This lemon ricotta pasta recipe will only dirty one pot and a few kitchen supplies. That’s it!
  • Quick & easy: Since fresh pasta cooks so quickly, your dinner will be done in under 30 minutes! This recipe is perfect for a quick lunch yet fancy enough for a brunch or dinner party!
wildgrain box

How Wildgrain is Different

As someone who loves to cook from scratch, it might seem a little strange to see me recommending a frozen bread subscription box! Honestly, it’s because I cook from scratch that I like Wildgrain so much.

These aren’t just the same breads you find in the grocery store. Wildgrain works with small artisanal bakeries to source their pastries, breads, and pasta. You can taste the quality in every single bite. In this lemon ricotta pasta dish, I used their frozen Tonnarrelli pasta, which truly tastes just like homemade.

Plus, they actually get it. All of their sourdough bread is 100% organic and long fermented the right way, making them easier to digest than regular “sourdough” bread from the store.

Since everything is shipped frozen, you don’t have to worry about your bread going stale before you use it. You literally crank up the heat in the oven and pop those frozen loaves directly on the rack for that fresh-from-the-bakery taste and texture in your own home. 

These Wildgrain boxes are a special treat for us, and we absolutely love testing out each of the delicious options they ship out. They’re such a thoughtful housewarming gift or a great way to treat yourself to some high quality baked goods whenever you need them!

want to try wildgrain?

🥐 Order today & get FREE CROISSANTS for life!

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Strainer
  • Spoon
  • Zester
  • Juicer or citrus reamer
  • Tongs or pasta spoon
ingredients for one pot lemon ricotta pasta on a marble surface.

Ingredients

  • Fresh pasta: You can either make your own pasta or use your favorite fresh pasta. I love using the fresh pasta from Wildgrain because they have an amazing texture and flavor you only get from homemade. Plus, you boil the noodles while they’re still frozen! You don’t have to worry about thawing anything out; just pop open the package, add the noodles to the boiling water, and go!
  • Fresh garlic: We’re going to build layers of flavor in this delicious pasta dish, starting by sauteeing fresh garlic in olive oil as soon as we drain the cooked pasta.
  • Olive oil: Choose your favorite olive oil to sautee the fresh garlic for extra flavor.
  • Bacon: ​Although this is totally optional, I absolutely love starting this dish by sauteeing a couple slices of bacon. It adds an amazing savory flavor and little bites of bacon to enjoy.
  • Ricotta cheese: Either use homemade ricotta cheese or choose whole milk ricotta cheese from your local grocery store. If you can’t find ricotta, you can use small curd cottage cheese for a similar flavor.
  • Heavy cream: A little cream or a splash of milk to turn the ricotta into a delicious creamy sauce with a smooth, silky texture.
  • Lemon juice & lemon zest: The fresh lemon juice is going to cut through the creaminess of the sauce to give it a bright, refreshing flavor. We’ll use both juice and zest in this easy pasta recipe.
  • Kosher salt: For the best flavor, salt the water heavily before adding the pasta to the water. Season to taste before serving.
  • Fresh basil & lemon slices to garnish

How to Make One Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta

1. Place a large pot of salted water on your stove over medium heat. Allow the water to come to a boil.

2. Add the fresh pasta to the pan following the package instructions.

3. While the pasta cooks, prepare your ingredients: shred your parmesan, juice and zest the lemon, and chop any herbs or fresh ingredients.

4. Just before the pasta is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy water and strain the rest of the water off the pasta. 

5. Return the dutch oven to the stove and add the olive oil and fresh garlic to the bottom of the pot. Let it sautee for 2-3 minutes before returning the pasta to the pan. Add the reserved pasta water and all of the other ingredients. Stir and cook until the pasta is al dente.

6. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, thinly sliced fresh basil, and extra fresh parmesan. Enjoy!

white plate with lemon and ricotta one pot pasta recipe.
Tips

  • No fresh pasta on hand? No worries! You can use 8 oz of dried pasta (half a box).
  • Scale this recipe up or down by using the multiplier button on the recipe card! If you’re making a full box of dried pasta, you’ll want to double the other ingredients.
  • If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use a minced shallot or a teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • While the pasta is straining, cook a piece or two of chopped raw bacon in your dutch oven for a savory flavor.
  • Five minutes before the pasta will be done, add raw broccoli to the boiling water and let it cook with the noodles.
  • Feel free to use your favorite pasta. This recipe is great with short pasta, like bow tie or fusilli pasta, but I used long noodles called Tonnarelli from Wildgrain. I love how the smooth sauce wraps around each noodle.

Storage

Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, you can microwave the pasta for 1-2 minutes, stir once, then heat again for an additional 1-2 minutes.

close up of lemon ricotta pasta on a fork.

Favorite Add-Ins

There are so many ways to play with the flavors in this one pot pasta with ricotta and lemon!

  • Protein: Serve this easy weeknight dinner with your favorite protein, like tuna, seared shrimp, or roasted chicken. You can also cook pancetta or chopped bacon in the pan for even more flavor.
  • Seasonings: Add black pepper, red pepper flakes, or Italian seasoning if desired.
  • Vegetables: Toss in a handful of baby spinach, arugula, capers, sliced cherry tomatoes, peas, or steamed broccoli for extra nutrients and a delicious flavor.
  • Fresh herbs: Sprinkle some fresh basil, parsley, or dill for a burst of freshness. 
want to try wildgrain?

🥐 Order today & get FREE CROISSANTS for life!

FAQs

How do you cook frozen pasta from Wildgrain?

Don’t thaw your pasta! It’s important to cook frozen pasta from frozen. Bring a big stockpot full of salted water up to a boil, then add the frozen pasta. It will likely be clumped together, so stir often to separate the pieces. Once the pasta starts to float to the top, it’s close to down. Follow the cooking recommendations on the package to know when to remove the pasta from the water. Add your sauce and serve!

How are Wildgrain pastas?

Back in 2020 when everything shut down, I ordered myself a pasta roller and never looked back. I began making batch after batch of fresh pasta, inviting family over to help eat up every bite. Wildgrain pasta reminds me of that freshly made homemade pasta.

It has a delicious, tender texture and bite that is just different from dried pasta. It also cooks incredibly quickly, usually in about 5-6 minutes. They’re a great addition to your freezer, and you’ll have fun using them in a variety of pasta dishes.

What’s a quick pasta recipe for busy nights?

I absolutely love this lemon ricotta one pot pasta recipe! After you cook the fresh pasta and drain it, you add bacon and garlic to the pan to release their flavors. Then, you add back your freshly cooked pasta with ricotta, parmesan, lemon juice and zest, and a little heavy cream.

As the pasta soaks up this creamy sauce and bright lemon flavors, it becomes a light, refreshing meal perfect for enjoying with a big green salad and a nice glass of white wine. It requires minimal effort yet is absolutely delicious!

blue and white bowl full of one pot pasta with lemon and ricotta.

Related Recipes

one pot pasta recipe with lemon and ricotta pin.
one pot pasta with ricotta and lemon.

One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon

Coated with creamy ricotta cheese and tangy lemon, this one pot pasta with ricotta and lemon is a quick & easy meal that tastes like you've been transported to Italy! It requires just a handful of simple ingredients and just one simple pot for a perfect meal any night of the week.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course brunch, dinner, lunch
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 444 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large pot
  • 1 pasta spoon or tongs
  • 1 grater
  • 1 citrus reamer

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz fresh Wildgrain pasta, or 8 oz dried pasta (half a box)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pieces bacon, sliced into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup full fat ricotta
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • salt, for seasoning the water & to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 lemons, zested
  • fresh basil, to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Place a large pot of salted water on your stove over medium heat. Allow the water to come to a boil.
  • Add the fresh pasta to the pan following the package instructions.
  • While the pasta cooks, prepare your ingredients: shred your parmesan, juice and zest the lemon, and chop any herbs or fresh ingredients.
  • Just before the pasta is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy water and strain the rest of the water off the pasta.
  • Return the dutch oven to the stove and add the olive oil and fresh garlic to the bottom of the pot. Let it sautee for 2-3 minutes before returning the pasta to the pan. Add the reserved pasta water and all of the other ingredients. Stir and cook until the pasta is al dente.
  • Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, thinly sliced fresh basil, and extra fresh parmesan. Enjoy!

Notes

  • No fresh pasta on hand? No worries! You can use 8 oz of dried pasta (half a box).
  • Scale this recipe up or down by using the multiplier button on the recipe card! If you’re making a full box of dried pasta, you’ll want to double the other ingredients.
  • If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use a minced shallot or a teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • While the pasta is straining, cook a piece or two of chopped raw bacon in your dutch oven for a savory flavor.
  • Five minutes before the pasta will be done, add raw broccoli to the boiling water and let it cook with the noodles.
  • Feel free to use your favorite pasta. This recipe is great with short pasta, like bow tie or fusilli pasta, but I used long noodles called Tonnarelli from Wildgrain. I love how the smooth sauce wraps around each noodle.

Nutrition

Serving: 1scoopCalories: 444kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 19gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 323mgPotassium: 246mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 337IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 234mgIron: 3mg
Keyword lemon ricotta pasta, one pot pasta, one pot pasta with lemon and ricotta, one pot pasta with ricotta and lemon, pasta recipe
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