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Creamy Ricotta Pasta Sauce – Now 100% Cream-Free!

I enjoy the taste and texture of a classic cream sauce, but what I don’t enjoy is that they tend to be very rich, and filling. I mean, come on, I’m trying to save room for the tiramisu. 

However, by using ricotta cheese, and egg, and some boiling pasta water, we can make a sauce that seems every bit as creamy, and delicious, but will still allow us to walk away from the table under our own power.

I added some pesto to mine this time, but that could have been some sun-dried tomato paste, or roasted chilies, or caramelized mushroom, or diced-up, leftover grilled veggies, or…you get the idea. The technique is really the thing to focus on here, and once perfected, you’ll simply be left trying to figure out what else to add in, or on this lovely sauce.

As I mentioned in the video, I love to top this pasta with ricotta salata. If you’ve never had it before, it’s worth a try, and not just for this dish. Ricotta salata is a great summer cheese, since it’s perfect with things like tomato salads, and grilled peaches, just to name a few. So, keep that in mind, but in the meantime, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 large or 4 small portions:
For the sauce base:
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
zest from 1 lemon
cayenne to taste
about 2/3 cup hot pasta water, plus more if needed
For the pasta:
8 ounces dry pasta, cooked 1 minute under
1/4 cup pesto, or to taste
lots of grated ricotta salata to finish

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authorI teach people how to cook. Don't let the chicken suit fool you. I have skills. Some skills.