White Pesto Pasta

We had some left-over ricotta from when we made manicotti a while back. I searched the internet for recipes that used ricotta and I found one from Bon Appetit. They used walnuts and raw garlic, which I did not care for so I modified the recipe to use pine nuts instead of the walnuts and garlic-flavored oil instead of raw garlic. Other than that it is basically the same recipe as Bon Appetit.


1/2 cup pine nuts
Kosher salt
4 oz. fresh ricotta
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 oz. finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. spaghetti


1. Toast pine nuts in a non-stick pan until golden. Cool then finely chop and set aside.

2. In the same pan heat oil and add garlic cloves. Cook garlic until golden then discard. Let oil cool.

3. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.

4. Vigorously mix pine nuts, ricotta, lemon zest, garlic, oregano, and 2 oz. Parmesan in a large bowl until well combined. Add oil 1 Tbsp. or so at a time, stirring well after each addition, until all the oil is incorporated. Season pesto with salt and pepper.

5. Cook pasta in pot of boiling water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Scoop 1 cup pasta cooking liquid into bowl with pesto and stir gently to combine (it’s okay if some of the pesto is still in small clumps). Using a spider, tongs, or slotted spoon, transfer pasta directly to bowl with pesto. Mix energetically until pesto thickens enough to lightly coat pasta, about 2 minutes; the pasta should have sauce clinging to it but there should also be some extra sauce that collects in bottom of bowl.

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