Miracle Meal: Creamy Ricotta Pasta with Broccoli
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
large head broccoli
- 1 pound
dry, short pasta, such as orecchiette, fusilli, or farfalle
- 1 cup
whole-milk ricotta cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, cut 1 large head broccoli into small florets. Finely grate the zest of 1 lemon, then juice the lemon until you have 3 tablespoons.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook 2 minutes less than al dente according to package instructions. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
Place the lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1 cup ricotta cheese in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Season with kosher salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using. Process until airy and smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides as needed, about 20 seconds.
When the pasta reaches 2 minutes less than al dente, add the broccoli florets and cook for the remaining 2 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and broccoli.
Return the pasta and broccoli to the pot. Add the ricotta mixture and 1/4 cup pasta water. Stir, adding more pasta water as needed, until the sauce coats and clings to the pasta. Taste and season with black pepper and Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Vegetable variation: Instead of broccoli, you could stir in peas, arugula, or sliced cherry tomatoes as you’re combining the sauce with the pasta.
Adding protein: You could also add your favorite protein — like leftover rotisserie chicken or cooked Italian sausage.