Creamy Ricotta, Lemon & Spring Asparagus Tagliatelle
Ready in 30 minutes
This heavenly bowl of pasta is delicate, fresh and deliciously silky. It’s one of my favourite mid-week meals as it’s quick to prepare and feels like a real treat! The creaminess of the ricotta works wonders when combined with zesty lemon and subtle seasonal greens, creating a divine Italian dish that’s both luxurious and nutritious.
Ricotta is packed with protein, calcium and all the essential amino acids that we need, whilst being lower in salt and fat than many other cheeses. The spinach and asparagus also provide so many micronutrients too. I like to use wholewheat tagliatelle as I prefer it to white, but any long pasta will work perfectly for this pleasing dish.
Buon appetito as they say in Italy!
160g dried wholewheat or white tagliatelle
200g ricotta cheese
20g parmesan cheese
100g spring asparagus
100g fresh baby spinach
2 garlic cloves
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
A bunch of basil (15-20g)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
50ml dry white wine (optional)
- Cook the tagliatelle according to the instructions on the packet until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the pasta water, and set aside.
- In the meantime, cut the asparagus in half and blanch the asparagus tips in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to cool water to stop them from cooking. Slice the asparagus stalks into round slices (these will be added to the pasta and the tips will be served on top).
- Next prepare the ricotta sauce by mixing the ricotta, half of the grated parmesan, one tablespoon of the olive oil, chopped basil leaves, lemon zest and half of the lemon juice into a bowl.
- Crush the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and chop finely. Add the garlic and asparagus tips to a large nonstick pan with the other tablespoon of olive oil and fry on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes until golden. If you would like to use the wine add this now and cook for another minute or so to allow the alcohol to cook off.
- Follow with the spinach leaves and cook for a further minute until the spinach has started to wilt down.
- Add the ricotta mix to the pan, along with around 4 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and finally stir through the tagliatelle and season to taste.
- Serve immediately with a final squeeze of lemon juice, basil leaves and the rest of the parmesan sprinkled on top.