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Pasta with peas and ricotta in decorative white platter with fresh mint sprigs and orange rind garnish.

Lemony Pasta with Peas and Ricotta

Lemony Pasta with Peas and Ricotta is a delicious spring pasta dish that is incredibly simple and quick to make, yet delivers big time on flavors, beauty and aroma! Plus, it’s very hearty and super satisfying.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings


  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • cups thinly sliced shallots, about 3 shallots
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves, divided (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 pound peas or baby peas, frozen or fresh, about 3 cups
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • To taste salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound pasta + salt for pasta water
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese, about 2 cups (can use a 15-ounce container)
  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 4 Tbsp)
  • cup grated parmesan cheese or Grana Padano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for serving


  • Prep all ingredients according to specifications above. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Zest the lemons before squeezing them for juice.
    (Please see the section above in the blog post for Step-By-Step instructions with photos.)
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Then, add the shallots, fresh mint, if including, and chopped garlic. Cook until the shallots are translucent, softened and caramelized a bit, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes or so. You can cover the pan to speed up this process, if desired.
    4 Tbsp butter, 1½ cups thinly sliced shallots,, ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves,, 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • Then, add the peas and lemon zest and cook until the peas are tender. Add a couple tablespoons water to the pan to deglaze it, if necessary, using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
    1 pound peas or baby peas,, Zest of 2 lemons
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, then turn off the heat. (See NOTES below if cooking with fresh peas.)
    To taste salt and black pepper
  • Meanwhile, add the salt, then the pasta to the boiling water, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions, or about 2 minutes before you think it is al dente. Be sure to reserve at least 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
    1 pound pasta
  • After the pasta has been cooking 5 minutes, turn the heat on the pan to medium and stir in the ricotta cheese along with ½ cup pasta water to finish the sauce.
    1 pound ricotta cheese,
  • Transfer the pasta to the pan, along with the lemon juice, and allow it to finish cooking in the wonderful flavors of the sauce. Add enough pasta water to bring the sauce together, about ½ cup at a time. Mix well.
    Juice of 2 lemons
  • Once the pasta is al dente, turn off the heat and fold in the grated cheese, a big pinch of freshly ground pepper and the remaining mint, if including. Drizzle lightly with some extra virgin olive oil. Stir well, then transfer to a serving platter. Buon Appetito!
    ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese or Grana Padano, Freshly ground black pepper, Extra virgin olive oil,


  • Be sure to zest the lemons before squeezing them for juice.
  • Spring onions (the white parts only) can be used in place of shallots when in season if you can get your hands on some!
  • Fresh Peas are great to use when in season! They take longer to cook than frozen peas, fyi, and should be simmered in a bit of liquid. Add a bit of water or low sodium broth along with the peas when you add them to the pan. (FYI, you’ll need roughly 2½ pounds of fresh peas in the pod to yield about 3 cups shucked peas.)
  • There’s no need to defrost the peas if using frozen.
Recipe by Mangia With Michele. Please visit my site for more great cooking inspiration!
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