Ricotta Pesto Pasta with Peas and Artichokes

Welcome to your new obsession: ricotta pesto pasta. Creamy, rich, and bursting with the freshness of spring peas and artichokes, this dish is about to become your spring pasta dish staple. It’s simple, sophisticated, and utterly irresistible. Get ready for a taste that redefines springtime elegance.

Ricotta pesto pasta with peas and artichokes on a white oval serving platter.

Why this is going to be your new go-to
springtime pasta recipe!


  • Seasonal Spotlight: This recipe is a celebration of spring on a plate. Featuring peas and artichokes that are at their peak, it captures the essence of the season, making it a dish that’s as fresh as it is flavorful.
  • Creamy Comfort: The use of ricotta and pesto creates a sauce that’s incredibly creamy and comforting, offering a delightful contrast to the lighter, crisper textures of the peas and artichokes.
  • Easy Elegance: This dish is all about simple ingredients coming together to create something sophisticated that can be ready to serve in under 30 minutes. It’s proof that you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen to serve up a meal that looks and tastes gourmet.

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Springtime Pasta Favorite

This recipe is about to take the crown as your springtime pasta go-to, and here’s why: it’s a celebration of the season, blending the fresh, green goodness of peas and artichokes with the creamy richness of ricotta and basil pesto. It’s the perfect balance of light and indulgent, making every bite a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.

Not only does it scream spring with its bright and fresh ingredients, but it’s also incredibly easy to whip up. Ideal for those busy evenings when you want something both comforting and nourishing without spending hours in the kitchen.

Plus, its visual appeal—with vibrant greens set against creamy pasta—makes it a dish that’s as beautiful on the plate as it is delicious. Get ready to fall in love with your new springtime favorite.

Craving more pasta perfection? We’ve got you covered. Check out our creamy rainbow vegetable pasta served in a lemony parmesan sauce and our elegant pasta magnifico featuring fresh linguine in a zesty citrus cream sauce.

Pasta Ingredients

Ricotta pesto pasta ingredients laid out into small white bowls and dishes on a dark gray surface.

Be sure to scroll down to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below.

Recipe Roadmap with Images

1

Start the Pasta

Cook pasta until it’s al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside. Before draining, remember to save about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

2

Prep the Sauce

In the same pot, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, pepper, and a generous pinch of salt. Use an electronic hand blender to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Or simply stir and whisk by hand.

3

Blend In Pesto

Pour in the pesto, whisking and mixing until the ricotta pesto sauce is smooth.

4

Add in Pasta and veggies

Then, gently fold in the cooked pasta, peas, and artichoke hearts, mixing thoroughly until every piece is coated in the sauce. Add a bit more pasta water if you need to keep the sauce silky.

5

Serve it up

Plate the pasta into a nice serving bowl and add a final flourish with extra Parmesan and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Pro Recipe Tips

How do I make my ricotta pesto sauce the smoothest and the creamiest?


Ricotta cheese and I? We go way back. It’s creamy, it’s dreamy, but let’s be real: sometimes it hits you with that unexpected grainy vibe. Those tiny curds, though totally natural, aren’t always what you’re craving, especially when you’re aiming for that silky-smooth sauce or dip. So, how do we smooth things over with our beloved ricotta?

Ricotta pesto pasta with a grainier ricotta texture on a white oval plate.
Ricotta Pesto Pasta (sauce whisked by hand – has a grainier texture)
Ricotta Pesto Pasta (sauce mixed with hand blender – has a smoother texture)

Let’s break this down into some easy, bite-sized steps to get that ultra creamy and smooth style ricotta pesto sauce:

  • Go Full-Fat with Ricotta: Always choose fresh whole-milk ricotta for that rich, luxurious base. It’s the secret to creaminess. And avoid varieties that contain stabilizers.
  • Blend, Baby, Blend: Whip out your electronic hand blender, regular blender, or food processor. Give the ricotta sauce ingredients a whirl until they’re creamy and smooth.
  • Pasta Water Magic: Don’t toss that pasta water! A splash or two into your sauce helps it get just the right consistency and cling to your pasta like a charm.
  • Warm It Up: Heat your sauce gently. Keep it cozy, not hot, to avoid any curdling missteps.
  • Consistency Is Key: If it’s too thick, add more pasta water. Just a tad at a time until it’s just how you like it.


So there you have it. Follow these tips to ensure your ricotta pesto sauce isn’t just tasty, but next-level delicious—think creamy, smooth, and absolutely irresistible.

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Ricotta Pesto Pasta with Peas and Artichokes

Creamy, rich, and bursting with the freshness of spring peas and artichokes, this ricotta pesto pasta recipe is about to become your new spring pasta favorite. It's simple, sophisticated, and utterly irresistible. Get ready for a taste that redefines springtime elegance.
By: AllieAllie Cleveland
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 538 kcal

Equipment

  • hand blender

Ingredients
  

  • kosher salt for the pasta cooking water plus a pinch for the sauce
  • 12 ounces short pasta such as shells, penne, fusili, gemelli, or casarecce
  • 8 ounces fresh whole-milk ricotta (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper plus more for serving
  • cup pesto store bought or homemade pesto
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1 cup canned or marinated artichoke hearts quartered

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Toss in the pasta and cook until it's al dente, according to the package instructions. Before draining, remember to save about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Use a colander to drain the pasta and set aside.
  • Using the same pot (on the same burner kept at very low or warm temperature), add in the ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, pepper, and a generous pinch of salt.
  • Use an electronic hand blender to thoroughly combine the ricotta sauce ingredients, for the smoothest textured sauce. Or simply stir and whisk by hand (this will likely give your sauce a slightly grainier texture because of the tiny ricotta cheese curds).
  • Blend in the pesto, whisking and mixing until the ricotta pesto sauce is smooth.
  • Then, gently fold in the cooked pasta, peas, and artichoke hearts, mixing thoroughly until every piece is coated in the sauce. Add a bit more pasta water if you need to keep the sauce silky. Give it a taste, and if it feels like it needs it, add a bit more salt and pepper.
  • Plate the pasta in a nice serving bowl or dish it out into individual bowls, and add a final flourish with extra Parmesan and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Recipe Notes

For a truly standout ricotta pesto pasta, consider these additional tips to elevate your dish:
  • Use Short Pasta: Short pasta shapes like penne or gemelli are ideal for ricotta pesto pasta due to their unique ability to cling to sauces (I used casarecce for the photos of the dish in this post). Their twists and turns capture and hold onto the creamy ricotta and vibrant pesto, ensuring each bite is fully flavored. 
  • Use Fresh Ricotta: Opt for the freshest, highest quality whole-milk ricotta you can find. The creaminess and flavor of fresh ricotta are unmatched and will make your sauce richer and more delightful.
  • Homemade Pesto: If time allows, make your own homemade pesto from scratch. Fresh basil, high-quality olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan, and garlic blended together can significantly enhance the depth of your pasta dish.
  • Reserve Pasta Water: Don’t forget to reserve some pasta water before draining. Its starchiness helps the sauce adhere to the pasta better, allowing for a creamier texture.
  • Season at Every Step: Season your cooking water well with salt. It’s the first step to building flavor. Also, taste and adjust the seasoning of your ricotta pesto sauce before combining it with pasta.
  • Gentle Heat: When combining your pasta with the sauce, do it over low heat to prevent the ricotta from curdling and to ensure the sauce remains silky and smooth.
  • Garnish With Style: Finish the dish with some fresh cracked pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. For a toasted nutty touch, a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts adds an extra level of depth to the rich flavors.
  • Serve Immediately: Ricotta pesto pasta is best enjoyed fresh, so serve it as soon as it’s ready to savor its creaminess and warmth at its peak.

Nutrition

Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.9g | Protein: 20.5g | Fat: 33.4g | Saturated Fat: 10.5g | Cholesterol: 39.8mg | Sodium: 410.7mg | Fiber: 5.6g | Sugar: 4.6g

*Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Maplevine Kitchen makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword artichoke hearts, peas, pesto, ricotta cheese
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!

What to Serve with Ricotta Pesto Pasta

To perfectly complement your ricotta pesto pasta with peas and artichokes, consider adding a touch of Italian elegance to your table with these delicious side dishes:

  • Whipped Ricotta Crostini with Antipasto Toppings: Start with a light and flavorful appetizer. These crostini are topped with creamy herb-whipped ricotta and a selection of antipasto toppings, such as pickled peppers, like peppadews and sweety drops and pickled cippolini onions, offering a delightful blend of textures and tastes.
  • Burrata Bruschetta with Fresh Peaches and Tomatoes: Or try this bright and flavorful appetizer to start. Sweet cherry tomatoes, juicy ripe peaches, fresh basil, creamy burrata cheese, and toasted slices of bread come together perfectly in sweet and savory harmony.
  • Spinach and Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan: Balance the creaminess of the pasta with a fresh and peppery spinach and arugula salad. The sharpness of shaved Parmesan and a simple vinaigrette dressing cuts through the richness, adding a refreshing note.
  • Panzanella Salad with Fresh Mozzarella: This classic Italian salad, with its juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and hearty croutons soaked in a tangy vinaigrette, adds a refreshing element to your meal. The fresh mozzarella echoes the creamy ricotta in your pasta, creating a lovely continuity of flavors.
  • Charred Broccolini with Lemon Garlic and Parmesan: This vibrant side dish brings a wonderful charred depth to your table, contrasting the creamy texture of the pasta. The zesty lemon and sharp garlic cut through the richness, while the sprinkle of Parmesan ties it back to the Italian roots of your main dish.
  • Italian Style Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Vinaigrette: This medley of seasonal vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes are roasted until they’re perfectly tender. A drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette before serving introduces a sweet and tangy element, making this dish a hearty yet healthy accompaniment.

Each of these side dishes brings its own unique flavor and texture to the meal, creating a well-rounded and satisfying Italian dining experience.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a rating in the comments below and let us know how it turned out. Your feedback is important to us. Thank you for visiting Maplevine Kitchen!

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