Ricotta & Lemon Spaghettoni

Loosen up your fork-twirling hand, because you’ll want those digits limber for this week’s dish. 🙌

We’re whipping up a flavor-packed Ricotta & Lemon Spaghettoni Pasta! And the best part after the taste? Cleanup is a breeze since the magic is created using only one pot.

But before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s clear something up: No, “spaghettoni” isn’t a typo, and nor is it a superfluously fancy way of spelling “spaghetti”. In fact, spaghettoni is a close relative of spaghetti that features a slightly thicker noodle width – and trust us – this extra surface area makes a difference! 

You see, there exists a delicate, crucially important interplay between pastas and sauces that impacts the dish’s texture, flavor distribution, and overall eating experience. Considering the substantial profile of our ricotta, lemon, and parmesan “sauce”, we know the stout spaghettoni noodle will hold up perfectly!

Ingredients:

Now that we’ve explored the importance of pasta / sauce pairings, the only question that remains is, “How should I choose a ‘spaghettoni’?”. 

Choosing the perfect spaghettoni pasta is far less daunting than you might imagine. Consider the following:

👩‍🍳 Grab the dried pasta. While fresh pasta is great, this recipe’s cook times absolutely call for dried. Fresh pasta will cook far too quickly, and you’ll lose the “al dente” bite.

👨‍🍳 Seeing as the pasta is a primary component, don’t be afraid to splurge a little. While it’s unlikely anything labeled “spaghettoni” is going to be low quality, shelling out the extra dollars for something authentic & imported will pay dividends in when the pasta hits the plate. 

👩‍🍳 Can’t find “spaghettoni” specifically? Worry not, and don’t cancel dinner. There’s still hope! Simply find a pasta featuring a thicker-than-average noodle, and you’ll be in business. Bucatini is a perfectly viable replacement, and in a pinch, regular spaghetti will do just fine (just avoid anything too thin like angel-hair). 

Now, let’s get shopping! 

  1. Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
  2. 2 Tbs of High-Quality EVOO (Any of these will do nicely!)
  3. 1 Bunch of Scallions (Whites & greens separated and thinly sliced)
  4. Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
  5. 1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano
  6. Red Pepper Flakes (A pinch will suffice)
  7. 1 Garlic Clove (Minced)
  8. 1/3 Cup of Grated Parmesan (Roughly 1 oz)
  9. 1/3 Cup of Whole-Milk Ricotta
  10. 12 Oz of Spaghettoni

This recipe makes four servings. 

Shopping done? Grab your pot, and let’s get cookin’.

Instructions:

Act 1 – Going Dutch: 

Break out a large pot with a heavy bottom. A Dutch oven is ideal if you have one, but a round braiser or any other large pot will work nicely, too. 

Pour 2 tbs of olive oil into the pot and heat over medium-high heat. Next, add in the thinly sliced scallion whites (save the greens for later), 1 tsp of salt, and a couple twists of freshly ground pepper. Cook this delightful, aromatic mixture for 3 to 4 minutes until things begin to soften and caramelize. Make sure to stir occasionally! 

After those 3 or so minutes pass, add the oregano, garlic, and pinch of crushed, red pepper, and cook for about another 1 minute. 

Act 2 – Our Pasta Joins the Party:

Add 5 & 1/2 cups of water, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp of salt, and a few more grinds of pepper to the pot.

For enhanced flavor, be sure to scrape up any tasty brown tidbits that may have formed on the bottom of the pot during “Act 1”. 

Next, add the spaghettoni to the pot, and spread it out as much as possible. This will become easier as the pasta begins to wilt. 

Bring the water to a boil and cook – stirring frequently. (Make sure you avoid the pasta sticking to the bottom of the pan!) Cook the pasta until it’s al dente and the mixture looks creamy and vaguely starchy. Ultimately, the majority of the water should be evaporated. This should all take between 10 and 12 minutes.

Act 3 – Say “Cheese”!: 

It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for. It’s time to elevate this pasta with creamy ricotta, subtly tangy-&-sweet lemon zest, and robust parm!

Turn that heat off completely, and gently (but deliberately) stir in the parmesan, ricotta, and lemon zest. Allow the cheeses to melt for about another minute, thus creating a creamy sauce.

Divide the pasta into four bowls, and garnish with the green scallions. Top with a few more grinds of black pepper and another parm dusting if you wish.

Act 4 (and beyond) – Round out That Table!:

This Ricotta & Lemon Spaghettoni is a rich, filling pasta dish that, while perfectly comfortable flying solo, wouldn’t mind a counter-balancing companion. As such we’d encourage adding a salad or light side to serve alongside the pasta!

Seeking inspiration? Allow us to suggest any of the wonderful sides & salads found here

Enjoy! 😊