While I love a rich and creamy pasta dish, fettuccine alfredo just doesn’t do it for me. There’s something kinda….gloppy about the sauce. Perhaps I was just ruined by the Olive Garden version of the dish in high school, because I’m sure the real Italian version is delicious.
One creamy sauce I DO love though is a ricotta sauce. Plus, it’s way easier to make! For this recipe, I just blend ricotta cheese, olive oil, herbs and a little garlic together to make a rich and creamy sauce that perfectly coats fresh fettuccine pasta. Sometimes I’ll add some grated parmesan in it to boost the flavor too!
I make this recipe all the time with different seasonal vegetables, like sauteed or roasted zucchini, asparagus, or cherry tomatoes. For fall, you could use cubes of roasted winter squash.
Although I do love to use whole grain pasta for it’s nutty flavor and the nutritional benefits, I think this sauce tastes much better with white pasta, especially fresh pasta. Personally, I like whole wheat pasta with rich tomato sauces and pesto, and anything delicate and creamy tastes better with white pasta.
To serve this, I made easy asparagus and prosciutto bundles. Wrap a few asparagus spears with a piece of prosciutto and roast at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes.
Easy Herbed Ricotta Fettuccine
Serves ~ 4
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 lb fresh fettuccine
Place ricotta, olive oil, herbs, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a food processor and blend until pureed and herbs are finely chopped. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Scoop sauce into a large serving bowl.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook fresh pasta about 3 minutes (or according to package instructions) until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup starchy pasta water for thinning the sauce.
Add pasta to the serving bowl with the ricotta sauce. Toss to combine, adding a little bit of starchy pasta water to thin to desired consistency. Serve immediately.
More easy pasta dishes: