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5 from 4 votes

One Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta

This zesty one pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta is the perfect pasta dish for spring and it can be ready in only 20 minutes. The fresh lemon and basil lighten up the rich ricotta cream sauce. Don’t forget a bottle of white wine and some fresh bread!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time17 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 668kcal
Author: Brianna May


  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter*
  • 1 small shallot diced finely*
  • 5-6 cloves garlic pressed or minced finely
  • cup dry white wine*
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 8 ounces dried short cut pasta*
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested plus more for serving
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • basil for serving


  • Melt butter over medium high heat, until the butter begins to brown.
  • Turn the heat down to medium. Add shallot and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes and deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Add in the water, half and half, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined.
  • Stir in the pasta. Bring to a simmer.
  • Lightly boil for 10-12 minutes covered, or until the pasta is al dente, stirring every 2-3 minutes so the pasta does not stick.
  • Turn the heat off. Add lemon juice, zest, ricotta, and parmesan cheese. Stir until well combined. Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken.


Unsalted Butter: Swap for olive oil. 
Shallot: Swap for a ¼ cup of finely diced red or yellow onion. 
White Wine: Swap for vegetable broth or omit. 
Short Cut Pasta: I used calamarata pasta, but rigatoni, penne, fusilli, or bow tie pasta will all work as well.
Refrigerator: Store leftover lemon ricotta pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
This lemon ricotta pasta is heavy on the sauce. For less sauce, reduce ricotta to ¾ cup and reduce water to 1 ¾ cup.
Use good quality cheese. I highly recommend using freshly grated parmesan reggiano for the best flavor. Be sure to use whole milk ricotta. I really like the brand, Liuzzi. 
Brown the butter. Once the butter melts, continue heating it until it bubbles and then browns. This adds so much flavor to the pasta. 
Deglaze the pan. Deglaze the pan with wine or broth. This releases all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and deepens the flavor. 
Stir frequently. It is important to stir the pasta while it is simmering so it does not burn or stick.
Cover the pot. The steam that builds up underneath the lid will help cook the pasta, as it absorbs more of the liquid and is not fully covered with liquid. 
Let stand. The pasta will continue to thicken as it cools. 
Garnish with lemon zest and basil. The extra lemon zest and basil on top really brighten up the dish.


Calories: 668kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 1193mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g