Summer is coming, and you might already be thinking about what you can be making for your outdoor gatherings.
If you have a large group of people that need feeding, you could be racking your brains trying to think of the right thing to make.
Well, what better method of sating people’s hunger than with a nice bowl of zesty lemon pasta with a dollop of spinach? This stuff is not only very, very tasty, but it is so simple to make.
This is another reason for making such a delicious pasta dish, that it is very easy to prepare. Within half an hour you can be serving this sumptuous dish to your partner, children or friends.
This is a very appealing dish to people who might not feel that confident in the kitchen.
Containing rich parmesan cheese and delicious spinach, this is the perfect dish for both vegetarians and carnivores.
If you fancy adding a little bit of chicken to this dish, then go ahead. The lemon flavors and cheese will definitely complement something a bit heartier like chicken.
So how can you make this simple pasta dish? What is the best method of preparing the sauce and ensuring that it is ready in next to no time at all?
How can you cook your pasta in such a way that it is even tastier? How much will all these ingredients cost you and is it friendly to those people who are on a budget?
Well, for answers to all these questions and a heck of a lot more, then you should definitely keep reading. We’ve got a list of some of the best ingredients and cooking instructions that you can find on the market.
We also have an easy-to-follow recipe that will ensure that you have everything that you need for a delicious meal at the end of a long hard day at work.
How To Make A Lemon Ricotta Pasta And Spinach
This is definitely a dish for people who love that zesty lemon flavor during the summertime. Blending with a very flavorful creamy parmesan sauce, these spaghetti strips will completely melt in the mouth.
If you have ever been to Italy and want to savor the taste of that Tuscany or Rome, then you should try this recipe.
Another plus point of this pasta dish is the simple lack of carbs on offer. If you are looking to shed a few pounds ready for the summer season, then we would certainly recommend that you try this dish.
We would recommend that you buy as many of these ingredients as possible from fresh sources, as this will certainly increase the nutrient count. Not to mention the spinach element, which contains plenty of iron and will keep you healthy.
This is another great reason for trying this dish. It is not loaded with carbs like some dishes but does contain enough to give you that energy boost to get your day started.
If you are looking for that quick pick-me-up before you start work, then we would certainly recommend that you try this simple Italian dish.
What Ingredients You’ll Need
Okay, so let’s stop trying to sell you on this thing: how do you make it? All you need are a few simple ingredients:
- Parmesan cheese
- Baby Spinach
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
That’s it! This is another reason why this recipe is so appealing to amateur chefs. It’s the simplicity with which you can start preparing it. Now we’ll give you the recipe for how you should make it.
- First, you need to mix the parmesan, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest with salt and pepper until you have it thoroughly mixed.
- One method of telling whether this has been mixed well or not is by tasting it. If you can imagine yourself wolfing down all of this delicious flavor, then you should crack on.
- Cook your pasta al dente. For those of you not familiar with that word: it basically means that the pasta is boiled but still firm enough to be bitten.
- Once you have boiled the pasta, strain it and put it to one side. However, make sure that you keep the pasta water!
- Put your spinach in the pasta water and cook for one minute.
- Once your pasta is done, take it off the boil and then strain it.
- Now add the ricotta sauce along with the cooking water and stir it all until it is entirely mixed.
- Serve your final pasta dish with a drizzle of lemon to make it extra zesty. Add the grated parmesan with a wedge of lemon.
… and that’s it! Simple, huh? Just glancing at a few pictures we can tell you that this stuff is simply divine to eat.
Once you are done eating this, there’s no doubt that you’ll be wanting seconds, as this meal won’t leave you feeling too full.
The creamy pasta will complement the dark and sharp tones of the spinach very well. This recipe also recycles a lot of its elements, so you won’t have to worry about wasting any food.
Obviously, if you are making this dish for lots of people, you’ll have to measure how much pasta that you’ll need for your guests.
If you have more than 10 to serve, then we would suggest that you prepare around 25-pounds per person. This means that you’ll need roughly 250-pounds of pasta.
Another reason to make this pasta dish is to keep the carb intake as low as possible. You’ll be able to tell that this pasta is very light on the stomach in that you will not feel too bloated once you’ve finished eating it.
This is a reason that a lot of people eat this type of food, it’s because of the texture. If you cook this enough then it will still have enough of its shape to ensure that you have enough of a grip on your taste buds.
But how else can you prepare this pasta? If you are an expert chef then you might find this concoction slightly dull. How can you infuse a little more flavor and give your guests something to talk about at the next party?
Some Tips To Make Your Pasta Extra Tasty
One method of switching up this pasta is by using different varieties. The recipe listed above can accommodate any different style of pasta. Here below are just a few versions that you can choose for your dish:
- Angel’s hair - This type of pasta is very long and thin and goes well with creamy pasta dishes.
- Bucatini - this is a lot like traditional spaghetti, but it is rounder with a small hole through the center.
- Fettuccine - This is a flat spaghetti noodle.
- Spaghetti - we are probably all familiar with this type of spaghetti. This will go well in your lemon ricotta dish.
- Linguine - this is very similar to fettuccine, although it is not as round or wide.
- Pappardelle - This pasta is almost as long as it is wide, basically like a completely flattened version of linguine.
- Tagliatelle - This is very similar to the pappardelle mentioned above, although it is thicker and has slightly more bite. This is another great one for creamy pasta sauces.
- Vermicelli - This is another thin noodly spaghetti, which you might have trouble cooking your sauces with.
- Campanelle - This pasta is rolled like a cone and has a ruffled edge to it.
- Casarecce - this is a cone-shaped pasta, rolled like a twisted noodle. This will go great with any creamy pasta dish.
- Cavatappi - This is referred to as double-elbow pasta and it comes in a funny swirly pattern. This is a great one if you want to introduce pasta to children as well as delicious greens.
- Fusilli - another very popular pasta that is often coupled with a delicious tomato and pesto sauce.
- Radiatori - This is a very durable pasta that you can subject to prolonged exposure to hot water, baking it overnight in a pasta bake or a casserole. This will go well with your lemon ricotta, absorbing as much flavor as possible.
- Rotini - this is another bizarrely-shaped pasta, coming in a curly corkscrew shape that contains a tiger spiral than some of the others.
- Elbows - this pasta you might recognize as that used in macaroni and cheese. So this makes it very amenable to cheesy pasta dishes, allowing you to infuse them with many different flavors.
- Farfalle - this is commonly referred to as ‘bow-tie’ pasta not only does it have a great shape and texture, but it also gives you everything that you need to support a delicious pasta dish.
- Gemelli - this pasta is shaped like a rope and will easily absorb plenty of cheese and boiled water, retaining its shape and some of its crunchy texture.
- Penne - another very common pasta that you will find for very cheap in most shops. We would recommend that you get this one if you have made a few pasta dishes and fancy something easy and cheap.
- Rotelli - this is pasta for the very adventurous, coming in a face-shaped wheel. This pasta is great for use with cheese and tomato sauces. You can also use this one in soup.
- Rigatoni - This is very much like penne but with a ribbed texture. This is great for cheese dishes, as it will fill up with ricotta or parmesan, making it very delicious to bite into.
- Ziti - this is penne and rigatoni, but dead straight. This is commonly used in baked dishes and casseroles and might not fare so well with your ricotta and spinach.
- Conchiglie - this is the Italian word for shells and we can see why. These have a wonderful novelty shape with plenty of surface area with which to absorb any cheese, tomato and boiling water.
- Orzo - this one looks like rice at first, but it is technically a pasta dish. You can use this one in an orzo pasta salad, but it might not be that suitable for cheese.
- Ditalini - this is nice and short pasta, perfect for soups such as minestrone. You can put this one in your pasta cheese salad, but make sure that you go easy on the cheese.
- Lasagne - This is another of the most common types of pasta, with long sheets that can easily withhold meat and cheese. This is probably one of the most durable pastas out there.
- Tortellini - this is a favorite form for the pre-packaged pasta to take. You can fill this with all sorts of goodness, whether it is egg, spinach or cheese. You could add this to your lemon ricotta pasta, although be prepared for the calorie count to skyrocket!
- Ravioli - another common meat-filled pasta, this is great as just a meal on it’s own, although some people like to add tomato sauce to it.
- Manicotti - Another larger-shaped pasta that can be filled with all sorts of treats. We would recommend that you use this one for your lemon and ricotta, as all that delicious cheese will get gummed up in the holes.
- Cannelloni - this is like a mixture of manicotti and lasagne, coming as a tube-shaped pasta without any ridges.
- Jumbo shells - this is a hefty and crunchy pasta that you will be able to use with your cheese dishes, as they will retain that crunchy texture and smooth flavor.
- Mezzelune - this is a flat pasta that can be folded up into a shape that can be filled with meat or eggs. This is great for anyone who doesn’t mind getting their hands messy.
Now that we’ve given you a comprehensive list of some of the best pasta, hopefully, you can make a more informed decision when it comes to adding it to your ricotta and spinach dish.
What You Should Add To Your Pasta
We would obviously recommend adding spinach to this, as it is a great companion flavor to the cheese. It is also a much healthier option, as it contains only delicious nutrients.
If you want to boost the health properties of this pasta dish, then we would recommend that you use whole grain pasta instead of regular pasta.
Wholegrain has a lot more fiber, which is perfect for promoting the health of your gut. Wholegrain also has a lot fewer preservatives than a lot of other pasta out there.
There are a few different methods of preparing your spinach. You can blanch it, which is a lot quicker and will require a lot less washing up once you’ve finished.
We would also recommend not cooking them for too long as they will become too limp and will lose a lot of their nutrient properties.
Make sure that your spinach remains green as you cook it. Also, double-check that your spinach is not going off by making sure that none of the leaves are yellow before adding it to your spinach dish.
What Can You Switch Out In Your Pasta?
You can add plenty of more things to your pasta dish, although this all depends on what you are looking to boost.
If it is protein, then we would certainly suggest adding chicken to that mixture. If you are cooking chicken, then we would suggest cooking it in a skillet or putting it under the grill in your oven.
Make sure that the chicken is well cooked right the way through. If you want to reduce the fat content, then you might want to boil the chicken in the pasta sauce that you used to cook the pasta and the spinach.
You can also add sauteed vegetables such as aubergine, zucchini or artichokes, as these all have a meaty quality to them that will definitely complement the pasta dish itself.
You might want to fry these vegetables first to soften them up, although we would recommend that you throw them in whole.
You can put cherry tomatoes in your pasta also, as pasta is a great accompaniment to most pasta dishes.
You can chop or dice them, the choice is yours. Make sure that you do not pre-cook them beforehand, as their texture is very soft and the chances are they will turn to mush.
What To Remember When Cooking
These are a few things that you should bear in mind before prepping your pasta dish:
Make Sure You Have All The Ingredients
There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a cooking process and realizing that you have forgotten to purchase a crucial ingredient.
You might find yourself binning off the whole meal if you are in a rush and don’t have time to go out and pick up your cheese or spinach from the supermarket.
Make sure that you read the recipe carefully before preparing your meal so that you don’t lose anything.
Prepare The Cooking Area
If you have a smaller kitchen, then be careful when you are preparing everything, as this will limit your options.
Make sure you have enough space to chop vegetables and prepare the pasta. You’ll need a sink to drain everything and at least two hobs for cooking your pasta dish.
If you don’t have the right amount of space, you might have pasta that is slightly lukewarm and damp rather than hot and crunchy.