I found this recipe on the website Real Simple when looking for a quick an easy dinner, and have adapted it. The amounts of ingredients can be fudged to meet the needs of however many people you’re planning to serve. As a result, any amounts shown below are approximate.
Penne pasta (or whatever you want to use)
1-2 tbs unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup ricotta cheese, store-bought or homemade
A few tablespoons of parmesan cheese, shredded
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Walnuts, chopped and toasted (I used a generous handful or so)
1/3-1/2 cup pasta water, reserved
Chopped fresh herbs, to taste (I used basil and parsley)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
Cook your pasta according to the directions on the packaging. While the pasta cooks, combine the ricotta, butter, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, and walnuts in a bowl. Set aside until the pasta is just about done cooking.
Before draining the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Start by pouring ~1/3 cup of the water into the bowl with the cheese mixture. Stir to combine. If a creamier texture is desired, add more water.
Strain the pasta and add it back into the pot in which it was cooked (or a large serving bowl). Pour the cheese sauce mixture over the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the herbs and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
And there you have it. A quick and easy dinner perfect for a Meatless Monday, or any other day of the week. Enjoy!