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Pea & Arugula Pesto Pasta with Whipped Ricotta

All the spring things, because I’m almost all souped out. Not really, but I’m just too excited for the warm weather we’ve been getting. I’ve been craving a lot of fresh & bright foods. And this Pea & Arugula Pesto Pasta with Whipped Ricotta is the ultimate spring vibe. 

Fresh, peppery, bright, lemony, creamy. All the good flavors you want in a pasta. Plus incredibly easy and quick to make! I like to use thawed frozen peas for the pesto. They’re super bright and fresh tasting, unlike the ones in the can. The arugula in this pesto is KEY. It adds that delicious peppery element that pesto needs

My freezer is always stocked with peas. Surprisingly my 2 year old LOVES them. I also loved peas as a kid as well. My mom would sauté them with onions and season them with vegeta. So simple & so good. So needless to say, peas are always around. And they are delicious in a pesto

This Pea & Argula Pesto Pasta with Whipped Ricotta is truly DELICIOUS. Definitely one of my favorite pestos on the blog. Unlike my walnut pesto & pistachio pesto, this one is not full on basil. It has so many other fresh flavors that work together so well! You’ve got to try this one.

Pea & Arugula Pesto ingredients

  • Thawed peas
  • Arugula  
  • Basil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese 
  • Garlic
  • Walnuts (or pine nuts, pistachio, pecans, etc.)
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon zest & juice
  • Salt, pepper & crushed red pepper 

Everything gets thrown into a blender or food processor and blitzed until smooth. 

Whipped ricotta is all the craze these days. There’s so many ways to enjoy it. On toast, as a dip and even in desserts. It is especially delicious in pasta. I serve in top and once it hits the hot pasta the ricotta warms up and melts into it cresting the most creamiest and delicious texture. Too good!

How to make the whipped ricotta

  1. In a food processor, add ricotta cheese, salt and heavy cream. Pulse on high for a minute. 
  2. Add in the olive oil and continue mixing for another minute, until the mixture is creamy, dreamy & smooth. You will literally want to eat this with a spoon! It’s that good. 

You could use any pasta shape you’d like. I like using pappardelle or Bucatini. Orrechiette & Rigatoni also great options! 

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Pea & Arugula Pesto Pasta with Whipped Ricotta

This Pea & Arugula Pesto Pasta with Whipped Ricotta is a spring dream. It's creamy, bright, peppery and incredibly delicious!
Course Dinner
Keyword Arugula, Chickpeas, Pappardelle, Pasta, Pesto, Ricotta
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 6
Author Leona G.

Equipment

  • Blender or food Processor

Ingredients

Pea & Arugula Pesto

  • 16 oz pappardelle pasta or you favorite pasta shape
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 2 cups packed arugula
  • 1 cup packed basil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • cup parmesan grated
  • cup walnuts
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper optional
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • zest & juice of 1 lemon

Whipped Ricotta

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese whole milk
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the box with a GENEROUS amount of salt. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
  • Add everything to your food processor or blender and pulse until well combined. While still blending, stream in the olive oil until the pesto is smooth. There will be some texture to it. Set aside.
  •  Add the ricotta, heavy cream and salt to your food processor and blend until smooth. About 1 minute. Drizzle in the olive oil and continue blending for another minute until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  • Drain your pasta and add it back to your pot. Stir in the pesto and pasta water until all the pasta is coated. Plate your pasta and top with black pepper, fresh grated parmesan cheese & lemon zest (optional). Finish with a dollop of the whipped ricotta. Serve & enjoy! 

Notes

  • The pesto will store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days in an airtight container. Add some extra olive oil on top to help keep it fresher.
  • If you don’t have a food processor or blender, you could also whip the ricotta by hand with a whisk. 
  • Make sure to use whole milk ricotta, as it will be creamier and rich in flavor.
  • Heavily salted water is also an important step since this recipe uses 1 cup of the starchy pasta water to create the sauce.

More recipes to try…

Coconut Carrot Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

Roasted Beet & Garlic Hummus

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