This Baked Lemon Ricotta Pasta is packed with bright spring flavors, but also makes the perfect winter comfort food. Bonus points for the fact this baked pasta is SO easy to make!
(This recipe for Baked Lemon Ricotta Pasta was originally published in May 2010, but was updated with new photos 2019).
Winter, spring, summer, or fall... Sometimes you just really crave pasta. And by sometimes, I mean all the time. The other night I was cruising my favorite blogs and saw a tasty post for Spring Lemon Ricotta Pasta from Pam our longtime blogger friend behind Cave Cibum. Pam takes such great photos and creates wonderful recipes all the time so I was not surprised at all to see another delightful looking dish. Plus, I 110% trust anything that Pam makes, as she made the best candied bacon I've ever had in my life. Ever. Ever ever.
This baked lemon ricotta pasta is labeled as a "spring" recipe thanks to the brightness from the lemon and basil... But since all the ingredients are available all year round, you can whip up this dish any time your heart desires. And trust me, your heart will likely desire it quite often!
BAKED LEMON RICOTTA PASTA RECIPE
The most beautiful thing about this baked pasta dish? It is incredibly easy to make, even at the end of a very long workday. The other best thing about it? It is so incredibly satisfying, packed with creamy ricotta, salty prosciutto and parmesan, and bright and fresh lemon flavor.
Gemelli is the perfect pasta shape to use for this dish, but you can use any pasta with ridges that you choose (i.e. penne, rigatoni, and cavatappi). The ridges are important because all the delicious cheesy goodness gets stuck in them and makes each bite of this dish so amazing.
To start, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and start cooking your pasta in a large pot of lightly salted water. I recommend cooking your pasta for just 5 minutes, not even letting it get to al dente (you'll be baking it later, so it will have some more opportunity to cook).
While your pasta is cooking, in a large bowl mix together ricotta cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, parsley, prosciutto, and salt and pepper. Then add the pasta and mix until it's well coated.
Doesn't this mixture just look so bright and happy??
Transfer the ricotta pasta mixture into a 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish and top with a heaping (!!!!) portion of Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes and then place under the broiler for another 2-4 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. I love a baked pasta dish with a nice crispy top!
There is so much to love about this lemon ricotta pasta. Absolutely any time of year.
The basil adds a really nice spring-y touch that will have you seriously excited for the upcoming warm months. But the creamy cheesy pasta brings with it a level of comfort that is very much necessary in the middle of winter.
Lemon and pasta are such a dream combination and baked pasta dishes are pretty much the easiest thing in the world. Cook pasta, mix together some ingredients in a bowl, pop into a casserole dish, and bake until golden.
And then get your comfort food on.
This is the kind of dish that you serve yourself a modest portion of... And then keep going back for more. You might even find yourself standing at the kitchen counter eating right out of the casserole dish with a fork.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
I should note that I happily eat this baked lemon ricotta pasta as an entree, but that it also makes a lovely side dish to chicken, pork, and many other things!
Do you like eating comfort food year-round?
If you're looking for more comfort food pasta dishes, check out my Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta and my Pasta with Spicy Sausage, Basil, and Mustard. I also can't wait to try this Pumpkin Kale Lasagna from Spices in my DNA!
Spring Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- 1 lb. gemelli pasta (or similar shape with ridges)
- 16 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 oz. prosciutto, torn into small pieces
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook pasta for about 5 minutes. For best results, don't let pasta even reach point of al dente.
- While pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, parsley, prosciutto, and salt and pepper.
- Drain pasta and add it to the ricotta mixture, stirring to combine well. Transfer the ricotta and pasta mix into an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish.
- Top with parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Then place under broiler for 2-4 more minutes until top is golden brown.
- Recipe adapted from Cave Cibum.