This is the perfect springtime dish, and my favorite part is how easy it is to make and how little mess it leaves when you’re done cooking! If you’re tired of cooking and cleaning multiple times a day for all the hungry people in your house then this Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus is for you.
Plus, this recipe uses fresh asparagus, which is currently in season here in NC. Asparagus is rather hard to get locally at our Farmers’ Market because it’s only available for a short time and is also in such high demand. It’ll sell out within the first few minutes of the market being open! The fresh stuff is quite a delicacy (once you’ve had it and compared it to store-bought), and it’s only available for a short season.
So, a few years ago I decided that since I could almost never get my hands on asparagus locally that I’d have to start growing my own! We have a decent-sized area with raised vegetable garden beds, but one thing I learned is that you have to be okay with is having your asparagus around for a long time—decades! Most other veggies get replanted each season, so having asparagus is quite a different commitment.
The other thing I learned—after I’d already planted it!—is that you have to wait a few years before your first harvest so that the plant has a chance to store energy while it’s young. So, the pictured asparagus is some long-awaited asparagus, haha. And, worth the wait, I must say. You can literally just bite into them raw right out of the ground and enjoy the delicious crunch and sweetness that you just don’t get from the store.
Have you ever had homegrown asparagus before?
Ingredients for Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus
- Whole-wheat egg noodles -The kind usually used in soups and stews is perfectly tender for the light sauce in this recipe.
- Asparagus – Preferably from your farmer’s market, if you can score some.
- Reserved pasta water – Don’t dump it all down the drain!
- Ricotta cheese – Fresh, if possible.
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese – Avoid the prepackaged grated kind for best flavor.
- Lemon – Zested and juiced.
- Salt – We recommend fine sea salt.
- Red pepper flakes – 1/4 teaspoon.
- Basil leaves – Fresh and sliced.
How to Make Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus
- Cook: Cook the pasta according to the package directions and when there are two minutes left on the timer, throw the chopped asparagus in with the pasta to boil. When done, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain noodles and asparagus.
- Mix: In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest, juice, salt, and pepper. Mix in the reserved boiling hot pasta water into the cheese mixture and stir to help loosen it up.
- Combine: Dump the drained noodles, asparagus, and cheese mixture back into the hot pot and stir to combine. Fold in the fresh basil and serve.
Other Pastas with Veggies You Might Enjoy:
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