Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus

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.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus on 100 Days of Real Food

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

  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.

Other Pastas with Veggies You Might Enjoy:

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus on 100 Days of Real Food

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus

Nothing beats fresh asparagus from your garden or farmer's market. It pairs deliciously in this Lemon Ricotta Pasta dish.
4 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 5

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces whole-wheat egg noodles the kind usually used in soups and stews!
  • 1 small bunch asparagus trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water don't dump it all down the drain!
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese fresh, if possible
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves sliced

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest, juice, salt, and red pepper. Mix in the reserved boiling hot pasta water into the cheese mixture and stir to help loosen it up.
  • Dump the drained noodles, asparagus, and cheese mixture back into the hot pot and stir to combine. Fold in the fresh basil and serve.

Notes

We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus
Amount Per Serving
Calories 451 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 98mg33%
Sodium 595mg26%
Potassium 457mg13%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 1254IU25%
Vitamin C 17mg21%
Calcium 371mg37%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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7 thoughts on “Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Asparagus”

  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!

  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.

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