20170105-lemon ricotta spinach pasta 6 katiebirdbakes.com

Lemon Ricotta & Spinach Pasta

An easy weeknight dinner made with simple ingredients that'll be on your table in 20 minutes.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author katiebirdbakes.com


  • 1/2 lb pasta (I used linguine)
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach (about 3 cups or 1/2 of a 10 oz bag)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water (see below)
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • Grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes (optional), for topping


  • Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Reserve at least 1/2 cup of the pasta water just before the pasta is done, then drain and return pasta to the pot (or if your sauce is done, use tongs to move the pasta directly to the skillet with the sauce). Cover to keep warm while you're making the sauce.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat some olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic, cooking until the shallot is translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the spinach - it will seem like a lot of spinach, but it will cook down. Stir until the spinach has wilted and cooked down completely, about 2-3 minutes.  
  • Turn the heat to medium low and add the ricotta, reserved pasta water, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper. Stir continuously until the ricotta breaks down and transforms into a creamy sauce. Taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the pasta to the skillet and, using two large spoons or tongs, toss the pasta with the sauce repeatedly until the sauce fully coats the pasta. Top with grated parmesan cheese, additional cracked pepper or red pepper flakes if desired, and serve!


Adapted loosely from The Kitchn.