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Pappardelle with Creamy Ricotta Pesto – pappardelle pasta in a creamy, garlicky pesto sauce infused with ricotta. Who would have thought that pesto could get any better? #pesto #pasta #pappardelle #italian #easy #quick #dinner #ricotta #sauce

Pappardelle with Creamy Ricotta Pesto

  • Total Time: 20 minutes


Pappardelle with Creamy Ricotta Pesto – pappardelle pasta in a creamy, garlicky pesto sauce infused with ricotta.


  • 1 pound pappardelle pasta (or other variety (500g))
  • 1 tablespoon butter ((14g))
  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves ((100g))
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil ((100g))
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts ((33g))
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese ((56g))
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino romano cheese ((14g))
  • 2 tablespoons butter (softened to room temperature (28g))
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese ((57g))


For the pasta:

  1. Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. The water should be as salty as sea water. I use about 2 tablespoons.
  2. Drain pasta, reserving some of the cooking liquid to thin the Ricotta Pesto as needed.
  3. Toss drained pasta with 1 tablespoon butter.

To make in the food processor:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts, minced garlic, optional lemon juice, and salt to taste. Process until creamy.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the two cheeses, butter, and ricotta.

To make with mortar and pestle:

  1. Combine basil, pine nuts, minced garlic, and salt to taste (coarse is better in the mortar). Using the pestle with a rotary, grinding motion, grind the ingredients into a paste against the sides of the mortar.
  2. Add both cheeses and the optional lemon and using the pestle grind into the paste.
  3. Pour in olive oil in a thin stream and beat until incorporated with a wooden spoon.
  4. Stir in butter and ricotta.

Combine pasta and sauce:

  1. Toss the Ricotta Pesto with the hot, buttered pasta, adding reserved pasta water as necessary to make a sauce that clings to the pasta. I stir about ½ cup of the reserved water into the pesto before adding to the pasta. Salt as needed to taste.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: ricotta pesto