April is here, but it doesn't feel like it here in Seattle, rain is still coming down in buckets. I was asked by a friend of mine for this recipe that was posted a year ago. It's a good recipe if it's still cold and dreary out and you're yearning for the warm sunshine to come out and play.
This recipe is a nod to all my vegetarian readers. It’s fresh and creamy with bright notes of lemon. I added spinach today, but any hearty leafy greens or veggies such as peas and asparagus will work here. I had a major meat eater complaining at the table one night when I served this, so I tossed some peppered bacon in the dish to ease his “I’m not a vegetarian” pain—it was a hit! If you have a mixed table of veg-heads and meat lovers, have a side plate of bacon to pass around the table to sprinkle on the pasta. I find fully cooked crumbled bacon or cubed pancetta pairs nicely with the greens and lemon. This flexible pasta dish makes everyone happy.
I use full-fat ricotta; it produces a nice creamy consistency. I have found that low-fat ricotta makes the pasta sauce dry and gritty. If you’re concerned about the heaviness of the full-fat ricotta, don’t worry—it will be light when tossed all together with the splash of pasta water and fresh lemon juice. You can find ricotta in tubs next to the cottage cheese in the refrigerated section at the grocery store. I used Bellwether Farms hand-dipped whole milk ricotta from my local market—good stuff!