Whenever I am looking for a recipe with certain ingredients one of the first places I search is America’s Test Kitchen. The recipes have been worked and reworked by the chefs on the show until they have been ‘perfected’. Nearly every recipe I have tried from the website or watching the show has worked out well. In order to change things up over what we normally have for dinner (meaning someone requested something that wasn’t grilled) I found this pasta recipe. The ricotta cream sauce isn’t too heavy and the lemon and cayenne are nice compliments to the sauce.
- 12 oz ricotta cheese
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 box fusilli or rotini pasta (16 oz)
- 1 bag baby spinach (~8 oz)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- zest from 1 lemon
- juice from 1/2 of the same lemon
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- salt and pepper
- Whisk 1 cup ricotta, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until smooth. You may need to add a little more olive oil to get a smooth consistency; set aside.
- Cook pasta according to the box (be sure to add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water when it starts boiling) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water. Stir spinach into pot with pasta and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain pasta and spinach and return them to pot.
- As the pasta cooks, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, nutmeg, and cayenne in saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and whisk in remaining ricotta, heavy cream, lemon zest and juice, and 3/4 teaspoon salt until smooth.
- Add ricotta-cream mixture from step 3 and parmesan to pasta and toss to combine. Let pasta rest, tossing frequently, until sauce has thickened slightly and coats pasta, 2 to 4 minutes, adjusting consistency with reserved cooking water as needed. Serve the pasta in a wide bowl or plate and add a dollop of the ricotta from step 1. Pass the extra Parmesan separately.