Penne with Ricotta, Arugula, and Basil

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


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.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 430; Fat (g): 13; Fat Calories (kcal): 120; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 18; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): 59; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 500; Cholesterol (mg): 25; Fiber (g): 4.


  • 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
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