This is a great last-minute meal. Hoping, that is, that you have the same staples in the kitchen as we do. Ricotta has become a newer standard in the fridge. It comes in handy in many ways. That, and a jar of pesto. Fresh is best but a jar from the store can go a long way. This dish will only require the time it takes to cook the pasta. Perfect for a weeknight meal when meal planning just didn’t fit into your hectic schedule.
1/2 lb bucatini
1/2 c basil pesto
1 c ricotta
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon
1 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 c fresh parsley or basil, coarsely chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large 4 qt pan, bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta per package instructions or until al dente.
Meanwhile, mix together the ricotta, lemon juice, lemon zest, red chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pan and stir in the pesto. 1/4 cup at a time, add the cooking liquid if pasta seems a bit dry. Add more pesto if necessary as well. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the pesto, it may be sufficiently salted already. Transfer pasta to individual serving plates or bowls. Generously dollop the ricotta dressing on each serving and garnish with the fresh parsley or basil (or both). Serve immediately.