Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus

2 Reviews / 4 Average
Nothing beats fresh asparagus from your garden or farmer's market. Even if you grab a bunch from the grocery store, it pairs deliciously in this Lemon Ricotta Pasta dish. This makes for a tasty Meatless Monday dinner full of flavor—you'll love the mixture of cheese in this recipe!
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Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus in a bowls topped with fresh basil.

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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.

Featured Comment

I used grilled asparagus and it was amazing!
– Sue

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.

Growing Asparagus

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.

Asparagus rooting from home garden.

When to Harvest Asparagus

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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Recipe Rating

  1. 3 stars
    Loved how easy it was to make but did not have basil so lacked enough seasoning and also needed more Parmesan. Will add the basil next time, more red pepper flakes and maybe use broth instead of reserved water? Then I will probably over season it! Ha! Thanks for all that you are doing to promote healthy eating!

    1. Would this recipe work with whipped cottage cheese? We have cottage cheese I could whip. We are trying to use what we have in the house to save on grocery costs. Thanks!

  2. Really great recipe! In my first attempt, I forgot a tiny ingredient- lemon. But the second attempt turned out to be perfect. I had a lot of fun making it. Thank you for sharing :)

  3. What brand of whole wheat egg noodles are you buying not that Hodgson Mill pasta is no longer being made? (FYI it was discontinued last year, pre-Corona) We like to make our own, but don’t always have the time. I saw the no yolks brand makes a whole wheat version, but would prefer them with the whole egg.