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finished recipe piled high on a platter next to a baguette

One Pot Lemon Ricotta Orecchiette Pasta



1 pound orecchiette pasta

12 ounces whole milk ricotta

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

3 cloves of fresh garlic, grated

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

3/4 cup frozen peas

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Optional crunchy topping:

1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, diced

Pinch of salt and black pepper


  1. For the walnut herb topping, begin by adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 cup of walnuts in a large skillet over medium heat. Toast for 3 minutes, until the walnuts smell like popcorn. Remove from the heat and add lemon zest, diced fresh parsley and a healthy pinch of salt and black pepper. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. 
  2. Fill the large skillet with water and return to a high heat burner. Salt the water generously and, once boiling, cook your pasta for 1-2 minutes less than package directions.
  3. While the pasta cooks, combine your lemon ricotta mixture in a bowl, including the fresh ricotta, lemon zest, parmesan, grated garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). When the pasta is just about al dente, use a measuring cup or ladle to reserve one cup of the salted pasta water. Then drain the pasta and set it aside. 
  4. Return the skillet to the heat along with 1/2 cup pasta water Add the warm cooked pasta back into the pan, along with the lemon ricotta pasta sauce mixture. Toss quickly to combine and allow the sauce to heat through and thicken - about 2 minutes. Squeeze a half of a lemon juice into the pasta and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. 
  5. Serve with sliced fresh lemons, lemon zest and dust with toasted walnut herb topping. 


Almost any shape of pasta will work in this recipe, although in testing, I preferred the short pasta shapes as they seemed to hold onto that creamy ricotta sauce a bit better. 

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Easy Recipes
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: One Pot Pasta, Lemon Ricotta Pasta Sauce, Orecchiette Pasta Recipe, One Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta Recipe