Creamy Ricotta Pasta Sauce
A simple marriage of ricotta cheese, egg, and a secret ingredient make for a sauce that's even creamier than those that use heavy cream, which can be a bit too rich and filling. I mean, come on, I'm trying to save room for the tiramisu. Ricotta gives this sauce a cheesy tanginess that we don't get with heavy cream. I love to top this pasta with lots of ricotta salata, a great summer cheese.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 8ounces orecchiette pasta
- ½cup ricotta cheese
- 1large egg
- 1teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- ½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1lemon, zested
- 1pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
- ¼cup pesto, or to taste
Step 1Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook orecchiette according to package directions, reducing time by 1 minute, about 10 minutes.
Step 2Meanwhile, combine ricotta cheese, egg, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Mix until a paste forms. Add 1/3 cup hot pasta water and whisk well. Repeat with another 1/3 cup pasta water.
Step 3Transfer pasta to a saucepan using a strainer, letting most, but not all, the water drain off. Reserve cooking water. Add the sauce mixture and turn heat to medium. Cook and stir until sauce thickens enough to coat the pasta evenly, about 2 minutes. Add more pasta water if sauce gets too thick. Stir in pesto. Taste and season as desired. Transfer pasta to a warm bowl.