Lemony Green Pasta with Peas & Ricotta Recipe

Lemony Green Pasta with Peas & Ricotta Recipe

How To Make Lemony Green Pasta with Peas & Ricotta

Showcasing the colors of spring in a lemony green pasta dish made with peas and kale. Served best with a dash of tangy lemon juice and some Parmesan.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



  • fine sea salt
  • 8ozkale,preferably Tuscan/lacinato but any variety works
  • ¼cupextra-virgin olive oil
  • 2large garlic cloves,smashed and peeled
  • 1medium lemon,zest juice, preferably organic
  • ¼tspred pepper flakes,reduce or omit if sensitive to spice
  • freshly ground black pepper,to taste
  • ½lbrigatoni,or pappardelle or pasta of choice
  • 8ozpeas,2 cups, fresh or frozen
  • 2ozParmesan cheese,¾ cup, coarsely grated
  • ½cupricotta cheese,or more, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot (5-quart capacity or greater) of heavily salted water to boil. Meanwhile, prepare your kale by slicing or stripping the leaves from the stems; save them.

  2. Discard the rough bottom of the stems, then slice the stems into pieces about ¼-inch wide. Place the stem pieces in a fine-mesh sieve.

  3. When the water is boiling, place the sieve in the water, resting the lip against the top of the pot. Cook the stems for 3 minutes, then remove the sieve and add all of the kale leaves to the pot.

  4. Put the sieve back in the water on top of the leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Do not drain the water.

  5. Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic begins to sizzle, then reduce the heat to low.

  6. Cook gently, lightly shimmying the pan and turning the garlic every now and then for about 5 minutes, until the garlic is softened and turning lightly golden. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the contents into a stand blender.

  7. Add the cooked kale stems to the blender when the time’s up. Use tongs to transfer the kale leaves over to the blender.

  8. Add most of the zest from the lemon, and 1 tablespoon of the juice. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt, the red pepper flakes (if using), plus about 10 twists of freshly ground black pepper.

  9. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth and silky, adding more spoonfuls of water if necessary to gain traction. Taste and add more salt, pepper or pepper flakes, and/or another tablespoon of lemon for an extra tangy taste. Set aside.

  10. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente according to the package directions, stirring often.

  11. Place the peas in the sieve and cook them in the water for about 1 to 2 minutes, until they’re warmed throughout, or 2 to 3 minutes if frozen. Set the peas aside.

  12. Before draining the pasta, scoop out about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water with a heat-safe measuring cup. Drain the pasta, then return it to the pot.

  13. Pour in the green sauce, about ¾ of the Parmesan cheese and the peas, and add a small splash of the reserved cooking water.

  14. Stir gently until the pasta is well coated and bright green, adding another splash or two of pasta water to loosen the sauce and make it almost creamy.

  15. Divide into bowls immediately. Top each with a sprinkle of the remaining Parmesan, a few dollops of ricotta, and a sprinkle of lemon zest and red pepper flakes (both optional).

  16. Finish the bowls with a light drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Leftovers last up to 4, but the flavor degrades as time goes on. Best if consumed within 2 days.


  • Calories: 522.84kcal
  • Fat: 22.88g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.03g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 12.19g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.27g
  • Carbohydrates: 59.57g
  • Fiber: 7.41g
  • Sugar: 6.62g
  • Protein: 21.85g
  • Cholesterol: 25.45mg
  • Sodium: 573.36mg
  • Calcium: 355.05mg
  • Potassium: 629.71mg
  • Iron: 2.92mg
  • Vitamin A: 372.56µg
  • Vitamin C: 99.20mg
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