Friday, October 29, 2021

Cooking with Blobby

Oh my - another one. And more pasta. Will this ever end?  

One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon is fairly easy - though clean up is kind of a pain - even if the dish title infers it's all in one pot.  It's kind of a lie. 

I'd find this dish better for the chillier weather, which I did when we dipped into the 40s. It's comfort carbs but a little twisty. And it's vegetarian-y. I think it's not vegan-y with two different kinds of cheese. You know how those vegans are. Almost as annoying a gluten allergic cross-fitters. 


  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt  
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 pound short, ribbed pasta, like gemelli or penne 
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta (8 ounces) 
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino (2 ounces), plus more for serving 
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest plus 
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons) 
  • Red-pepper flakes, for serving 
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced or torn basil leaves, for serving (optional). Not really optional. 
The lemon part is here is key - good or bad. 

710 (and to a degree, myself) has been turned off by lemon in cooking. Desserts are fine! But my mother, bless her, used lemon a lot in her later years. My take on it is: her taste buds were waning, so she amped up the lemon usage to where she could taste it at a normal level, never knowing it was ruining every dish it touched for folks with normal buds. None of us - sister and brother in law included - ever told her this, so we endured it for the last few years of her life, and then purposefully staying away from the citrus in any cooking we did. 

It was time to dip our toes back in the water. And to that degree, I kind of failed. Less is more.*


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. 

In the same pot, make the sauce: Add the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir until well combined.  I seemed wiser to mix this in a bowl and add it to the pot, so already, I have veered away from "one pot pasta'. 

Add 1/2 cup pasta water to the sauce and stir until smooth. 

Oh - and a word of note: box graters are finger tip killers. It would have been wiser to use the food processor for the parmesan but it seemed it would be one more thing to clean. Still when you get to the nub of that cheese at the grater, be careful. 

Apropos of nothing, IF you grate your finger tips a bit, you MIGHT want to have someone else squeeze the lemon juice into the mixture.   ...........the more you know!

Add the pasta and continue to stir vigorously until the noodles are well coated. Add more pasta water as needed for a smooth sauce. 

Divide the pasta among bowls and top with some of the sauce that’s pooled at the bottom of the pot.

Garnish with grated Parmesan, black pepper, red-pepper flakes and basil, if using.

We didn't garnish with more Parm. Ricotta is tricky. It's a little grainy and doesn't smooth out as much as you'd ever like, or think it could or should. And once it's not hot-hot, in congeals a little bit. So to add more cheese seemed like it would be a drying technique. 

The red pepper flakes somewhat balanced the lemon, but not enough. For the initial serving, there was seemingly too much lemon flavouring.  It wasn't bad, just a bit distracting. I also figured there was residual Ellie/lemon repressed trauma from years back still lingering. 

So yes, it's one pot:  plus a bowl, plus a cheese grater and a cutting board. But, if you have a 710, he'll clean up for you and your mess. 

*leftovers had the lemon flavours mellowed quite a bit. this left it with a more blended and somewhat complex profile.  maybe the idea is to either add less lemon initially, or let the dish sit for a day or two before actually eating. 


James Dwight Williamson said...

You get points for cooking every time and for trying to bring some variety to those of us that don’t, as much as we should. Thanks Sincerely!

Travel said...

Looks interesting,

Ur-spo said...

There is never a lack of pasta recipes and none I would turn down.