Lemon-Basil Ricotta Pasta Bake

Lemon-basil ricotta pasta bake with mushrooms and asapargus. | realfoodandicecream.com

Usually when I sit down to write a blog post, I think about the place or the flavor that inspired me to make it and share it here on the blog. Not only does it help me start brainstorming the writing part of this whole blogging thing (not my strong suit!), but it’s also a way for me to chronicle my food loving life adventures. In a way, this blog has become a {very public} little journal of my life.

While I wish I had a super fantastic story to tell you all about how I tried this fabulous new restaurant and ate the most amazing pasta dish, in reality, the story of this recipe is a little boring. This lemon-basil ricotta pasta bake was born because last week, I started a new job. New schedules, new routines and 24 hours of on-call hospital confinement left me with an empty refrigerator and no time to make it to the grocery. But you guys already knew that.

Lemon-Basil Ricotta Pasta Bake | realfoodandicecream.com

Finally, on Thursday, I got a spare moment to do a little meal planning and try to get things back to normal working order around here. I took a peek in the fridge to see if there was anything to work with and found a practically full container of ricotta cheese. For the life of me, I cannot remember what I used it for, but it still looked relatively safe (read: mold-free), so I went with it.

I knew I wanted a pasta that was really simple but flavorful so I picked up some beautiful fresh lemon and basil.

Lemon-Basil Ricotta Pasta Bake | realfoodandicecream.com

Then I veggified it with some fresh mushrooms and asparagus and topped it with some more cheese to make sure it was 4 and 7-year-old approved.

The result was a dish that was absolutely delicious, quick and easy to make. Definitely weeknight do-able. Boil some pasta, quick toss in a skillet for the veggies, then a few minutes under the broiler to get that brown, bubbly cheese action.

It made enough for lunch leftovers too – and I was looking forward to it so much, I may have had it in the microwave at the slightest 11 AM stomach rumble.

And just in case you were worried, fear not, we all ate the slightly questionable ricotta and lived to tell about it.

Lemon-Basil Ricotta Pasta Bake | realfoodandicecream.com

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lemon-Basil Ricotta Pasta Bake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Penne pasta with mushrooms and asparagus are flavored with lemon and basil and wrapped in creamy ricotta cheese.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8
  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • ½ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the broiler to high, begin boiling the pasta water and heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cook pasta to al dente per package instructions.
  3. Add the olive oil to the skillet and cook the mushrooms and asparagus for 5-6 minutes until the mushrooms are browned and the asparagus has softened and is bright green.
  4. While the pasta and vegetables cook, in a small bowl, mix the ricotta, zest and juice of the lemon, ¼ cup of basil and the salt.
  5. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the vegetables and cheese mixture and combine completely.
  6. Transfer to a baking dish and top with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  7. Broil for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Sprinkle with the remaining basil and serve.

Lemon-Basil Ricotta Pasta Bake | realfoodandicecream.com

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  1. says

    Looks awesome! Getting ready to bake some pasta here tonight, too. Interesting, I’d associate these ingredients more with a light summery pasta but sounds like it worked well in the comfort-food style dish. Found your blog via FBP, BTW. Good stuff!

  2. says

    Isn’t it the best when you find ingredients in the fridge that are usable? I’m so glad you lived to tell the tale. :) This pasta bake sounds super delicious and filling. I love bakes because we do leftovers at our house. Makes for easy lunch prep for sure!

    • says

      Hi Andrea, thanks for stopping by! This absolutely could be customized with different veggies. We all have to cater a little to our picky eaters :)

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