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Penne with Ricotta, Arugula, and Basil

Scott Phillips

Servings: four to six.

Parmigiano-Reggiano, ricotta, and lemon zest form the base for a creamy, no-cook pasta sauce that comes together in minutes.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. dried penne pasta
  • 8 oz. whole-milk ricotta (about 1 cup)
  • 1 oz. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 cup); more for serving
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 oz. baby arugula (about 6 loosely packed cups), coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 oz. fresh basil (about 2 loosely packed cups), coarsely chopped

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 430
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 120
  • Fat (g): 13
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 25
  • Sodium (mg): 500
  • Carbohydrates (g): 59
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 18


  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta in the water until al dente, about 11 minutes. Reserve about 1/3 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmigiano, 1 Tbs. of the oil, the zest, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 3/4 tsp. pepper.

    Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the arugula and basil and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, tossing with tongs, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the arugula mixture to the bowl with the ricotta and mix well.

    Add the hot pasta to the ricotta mixture and toss to coat. Add the reserved cooking liquid as needed to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing more Parmigiano at the table.

Start the meal with a Basic Bruschetta.


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Reviews (7 reviews)

  • User avater
    ellaharris873 | 09/22/2017

    I'm beginner and I want to understand what it is...

  • djwong | 06/10/2014

    I did not like this recipe at all. I tried to follow it exactly, only omitting to coarsely chop the arugula and basil. To me, the flavors did not mesh well together. The arugula flavor was too strong - i don't know if it was baby arugula or not. It was from a fresh bag of Trader Joes organic arugula. You could taste the basil and lemon zest, but they did not complement the arugula.

  • Cloutier | 07/11/2011

    Loved it - quick, easy and delicious! Perfect for summer.

  • Paddle | 07/07/2011

    When I mixed the hot arugula and basil with the ricotta and parmesan the parmesan clumped it all together and no matter how much I stirred I couldn't separate this massive clump of cheese and herbs. Very frustrating indeed.

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