one and done

cooking for one... or two

Categories: Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on July 17, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten

How about a light and bright summer pasta? Best part it comes together in mere minutes, and all in one pot. The base of this no-cook sauce is simply equal parts creamy ricotta and sharp parmesan. Brightened up with a little zest and juice from a lemon, and a couple handfuls of arugula for color and crunch.

Serve it up with a salad of baby greens and a hunk of French bread. You’ll find this sensational dish is the perfect repast for one, or two. And hold on to this recipe and double it up for whenever we are having folks over for dinner again. The one thing that won’t increase is the effort with which it all comes together!

Here’s pasta with ricotta, lemon and arugula for two. 

Start with one half pound short, ribbed pasta, like gemelli or penne. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. 

While the pasta is cooking set out one-half cup whole-milk ricotta (4 ounces) and one-half cup freshly grated Parmesan (1 ounces).

One and half teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest and two tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

A pinch of kosher salt, a few grinds of freshly ground pepper and pinch of red-pepper flakes.

Two handfuls arugula.

When the pasta is al dente, reserve one-half cup pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. In the now empty warm pot add the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, quarter teaspoon kosher salt and quarter teaspoon freshly ground pepper and stir until well combined.

Begin with one quarter cup pasta water and add to the sauce. Stir until smooth. 

Add the drained pasta and continue to stir vigorously until the noodles are well coated. Add more pasta water if needed to create a smooth sauce. Stir in the handfuls of arugula.

Divide the pasta among bowls and top with any remaining sauce from the bottom of the pot. Garnish with a little more grated Parmesan, a grind of black pepper, and a little more red-pepper flakes and basil if desired.

With little prep and barely any cleanup, you’ll have plenty of time to sit and savor.

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