Pesto Pasta with Broccoli & Lemon Ricotta

Pesto Pasta

with Broccoli & Lemon Ricotta

25 MIN
+$3.99/serving 2 Servings
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    From the Test Kitchen

    This pasta gets its verdant color two ways: we’re stirring in tender broccoli (sautéed with red pepper flakes for a lightly spicy kick), then bringing it all together with our herbaceous basil pesto. A spoonful of creamy ricotta—mixed with a bit of parmesan and lemon juice for bright, rich flavor—is perfect for mixing into every bite.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      900 Cals (est.)
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    fresh
    ingredients
    Pesto Pasta with Broccoli & Lemon Ricotta
    Title
    • 3 oz Diced Pancetta
    • 6 oz Cavatappi Pasta
    • ½ lb Broccoli
    • 1 Lemon
    • 1 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
    • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
    • ½ cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • 2 Tbsps Mascarpone Cheese
    • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the bottom 1/2 inch of the broccoli stem; roughly chop the broccoli. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Roughly chop the peppers.

    Cook the pancetta
    2 Cook the pancetta

    In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

    Cook the broccoli
    3 Cook the broccoli

    In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped broccoli, chopped garlic, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Add 1/2 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the broccoli is softened and the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat.

    Cook the pasta
    4 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

    Make the lemon ricotta
    5 Make the lemon ricotta

    Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the ricotta, half the parmesan, and the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper.

    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pan of cooked broccoli, add the cooked pasta, cooked pancetta, mascarpone, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined. Turn off the heat. Stir in the chopped peppers and pesto until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the lemon ricotta and remaining parmesan. Serve the remaining lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the bottom 1/2 inch of the broccoli stem; roughly chop the broccoli. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Roughly chop the peppers.

    2 Cook the pancetta

    In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

    Cook the pancetta
    Cook the broccoli
    3 Cook the broccoli

    In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped broccoli, chopped garlic, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Add 1/2 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the broccoli is softened and the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat.

    4 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

    Cook the pasta
    Make the lemon ricotta
    5 Make the lemon ricotta

    Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the ricotta, half the parmesan, and the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper.

    6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pan of cooked broccoli, add the cooked pasta, cooked pancetta, mascarpone, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined. Turn off the heat. Stir in the chopped peppers and pesto until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the lemon ricotta and remaining parmesan. Serve the remaining lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
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