Basil Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Basil Lemon Ricotta Pasta
This is such a delicious and refreshing summer pasta! The creamy ricotta paired with the basil and lemon flavors is phenomenal. The freshness of the lemon zest and basil leaves helps to level out the heaviness of the pasta and the ricotta so it is light but still filling. And not to forget the crunchy toasted breadcrumbs to garnish which are packed full of flavor and really help to get the perfect bite! The Basil Olive Oil and the Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar make a great pairing and really complete the dish. You can really taste the basil flavors in the breadcrumbs and the lemon balsamic really comes through in the pasta sauce giving it a nice balance of flavors.

Products used: Basil Olive Oil, French Fleur De Sel Sea Salt, Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar, Sicilian Sea Salt

Ingredients

For Bread Crumbs:
2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
Zest of 3 Lemons
¼ cup finely chopped Parsley
⅓ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
¼ cup SOOC Basil Olive Oil
1 pinch of SOOC French Fleur de Sel Sea Salt
For Pasta:
1 lb Pasta (pictured here: Gigli )
1 cup Ricotta
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
½ cup shredded Basil (leave a few whole leaves for garnish, the smaller ones from the tip of the stem work the best)
~ ⅓ cup Pasta Water (reserve while cooking pasta, may need more)
2 tsp SOOC French Fleur de Sel Sea Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 Tbsp SOOC Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar
Roasted breadcrumbs to finish
Drizzle of SOOC Basil Olive Oil to finish
1 pinch of SOOC Sicilian Sea Salt to finish

Directions

For Bread Crumbs:

Preheat oven to 400℉.

Mix together all ingredients.

Roast on a baking sheet until golden brown. Check every 5 minutes to stir. The edges will cook faster than the middle so set a timer for 5 minutes. After the timer goes off, stir the bread crumbs so the crumbs on the edge move to the middle and don't burn before the others are done. Repeat this process until bread crumbs are done.

Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet.

For Pasta:

Boil water and add salt until it tastes like the ocean (use kosher or table salt because a decent amount is needed).

Add pasta to boiling water and follow instructions on packaging for cooking time.

Half way through the cooking time, use a ladle or a measuring glass to scoop out about ½-¾ cup of pasta water and reserve for making the sauce.

While pasta cooks, in a large mixing bowl, mix together ricotta, lemon juice, parmesan, basil, Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar, French Fleur de Sel Sea Salt, and pepper. Add pasta water until you get a creamy sauce, shouldn’t be too runny or too tight.

When pasta is done, add it to the bowl with the sauce and mix together until sauce is coating the pasta, taste and adjust seasoning (salt, pepper, lemon juice).

Cover with bread crumbs and garnish with basil leaf, lemon zest, and a drizzle of Basil Olive Oil.

*Note: A crispy chicken cutlet goes great on top for those who want to add a protein to this dish.