If you are looking for other delicious weeknight pasta recipes, this Gigi Hadid Pasta is a satisfying, easy pasta recipe. Mushroom Pea Pasta and Caprese Pasta Salad are also delicious, easy dinner recipes that are ready in under 30 minutes and sure to satisfy everyone at the table.
This lemon ricotta shrimp pasta is as delicious as it is straightforward. The main ingredients are shrimp, ricotta, and cooked pasta.
- Shrimp: Shrimp is a low-fat, high-protein option for dinner that is ready in minutes. Simply sauteed or cooked with additional flavors (as suggested below), it is a weeknight dinner go-to protein for many of us. The recipe calls for size 16-20 shrimp, but you can also use 21-25. If you can get them, I always recommend buying your shrimp already peeled and deveined, at least for a weeknight dinner. It is a big-time saver!
- Ricotta Sauce: Fresh ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, fresh lemon, and a few cloves of garlic cloves are combined to make a simple creamy sauce with delicious flavor.
- Pasta: While I use rigatoni in this recipe, you can use almost any kind of pasta you have on hand. Fusilli, bowtie, spaghetti, fettucini, or whole wheat pasta would substitute nicely. If you are following a gluten free diet, you can also use your favorite gluten free pasta.
How to Make this Recipe?
When I say this ricotta lemon shrimp pasta is easy to make, I mean it. Making creamy, dreamy, and easy pasta on a weekday has never been easier. Here are the steps:
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions or until al dente. Be sure to salt your water.
- Add kale to your large pot of water 5 minutes before the pasta is cooked. Before draining kale and pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Put drained pasta and kale back in the pan.
- Make Lemon Ricotta Sauce: While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce by mixing your ricotta, parmesan, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Add ½ cup of the starchy pasta water and stir until creamy.
- Cook Shrimp: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sear shrimp for two minutes on each side and season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the pasta: Add the ricotta sauce to the cooked pasta and gently stir. Add the rest of the pasta water if needed. Then add the shrimp to the dish. Garnish with parmesan and red pepper flakes as desired. If you like, enjoy your dinner with a glass of cold white wine!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
While you can store the leftovers and enjoy them in the next few days, we think that this dish is best when served hot as soon as it is ready. As the pasta sits, the noodles will soak up more of the sauce, which will still be delicious but less creamy.
- Storing: Place any leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.
- Reheating: The best method is to reheat the pasta slowly in a skillet with a splash of water. It is possible to reheat in the microwave, but you have a higher chance of your sauce splitting.
Ricotta is actually a type of cheese that does not melt. That is a good thing in this sauce! Instead, the ricotta retains its creamy texture and spreads evenly over the pasta, without getting stringy.
In this instance, ricotta sauce is made by combining whole milk ricotta with a number of delicious flavor-boosting ingredients and then thinning it with starchy pasta water. It is a simple and versatile sauce that can be adjusted to your taste and used in various dishes.
Other Weeknight Pasta Dishes You Might Like:
Quick-cooking pasta recipes are great recipes to keep on hand for busy weeknight meals. These recipes are all delicious, fast, and use easy-to-find ingredients.
If you try this Shrimp Ricotta Pasta recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Shrimp Ricotta Pasta Recipe
For The Pasta:
- Water & salt to cook the pasta
- 1 pound pasta (bucatini, rigatoni, spaghetti, or penne would all work)
- 3 cups kale leaves destemmed and chopped thinly
For the Ricotta Pasta Sauce:
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese more as garnish
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For The Shrimp:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp 16-20 shelled and deveined
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch red pepper flakes optional
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook according to the packaging instructions or until al dente.
- Five minutes before draining the pasta, add in the kale and cook until softened. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.
- Put the now-cooked pasta back in the pan.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the ricotta lemon pasta sauce by mixing ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Add in the ½ cup of reserved pasta sauce and whisk until creamy. Set it aside.
- To cook the shrimp: Heat olive oil in a large stainless steel skillet. Cook shrimp 2 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble the shrimp ricotta pasta: Add the ricotta sauce to the pasta and toss gently. It should be very creamy as you toss it with the help of the residual heat coming from the freshly cooked pasta. If you need it, add in the remaining pasta liquid and turn the heat on for a minute or so as you toss and turn the pasta.
- Add the cooked shrimp and gently incorporate, ensuring that it is evenly distributed.
- Taste for seasoning and add in if necessary. Garnish with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes, if using. Serve.
- Shrimp: The recipe calls for size 16-20 shrimp, but you can also use 21-25.
- Prep everything before you start: This is a very quick recipe so it is recommended that you prepare all the ingredients while you wait for the pasta water to boil.
- Dry your shrimp thoroughly before cooking. When you pat your shrimp dry before you put them in the skillet, you reduce the chance of the shrimp steaming and will get better color and texture.
- Storing leftovers: This pasta is best when served hot as soon as it is ready. However, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in a skillet with a splash of water over medium heat.