Brussels Sprouts and Ricotta Pasta is a quick and easy dinner that’s great for weeknights! Made with garlicy sautéed brussels sprouts and a creamy ricotta sauce, it’s comfort food that’s perfect for fall and winter!
If you’ve never used ricotta as the sauce for your pasta, you need to give it a try. The first time I tried it was when I made this zucchini lemon basil ricotta pasta. It’s a great one to make during the summer months.
When you take ricotta and add it to cooked pasta, along with pasta water, and any of your favorite spices or aromatics, creates a creamy, luscious sauce. It’s an easy way to make a creamy pasta sauce without making a roux that uses butter, flour, and milk.
Ingredients For Brussels Sprouts And Ricotta Pasta
- yellow onion
- brussels sprouts
- red pepper flakes
- ricotta cheese
- parmesan cheese
How To Make Brussels Sprouts And Ricotta Pasta
There are two important things to remember when making this brussels sprouts and ricotta pasta. Don’t over cook the pasta and reserve some of the pasta water.
Start by cooking the pasta. You want to cook it just until al dente because you’ll be tossing it with the ricotta sauce and it will continue to cook during that step.
While the pasta cooks, add the thinly sliced or shredded brussels sprouts, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to a large skillet with olive oil in it. Sauté the vegetables until they’re tender and caramelized.
If you have a skimmer it’s perfect for lifting the pasta right out of the pot and into the skillet with the brussels sprouts. If you don’t have one, drain the pasta, but be sure to reserve a cup or so of the pasta water before doing so.
Once the pasta is in the skillet, add in the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, and about half a cup of the pasta water to start with. Stir everything together until a creamy sauce starts to form. Use your judgement to determine if you need to add more pasta water. It all depends on how creamy of a sauce you want.
Whole Milk Ricotta Versus Part Skim Ricotta
You might be wondering if you should use whole milk or part skim ricotta for this pasta recipe. The answer is you can use either, but there will be some difference.
From a nutrition stand point part skim ricotta has less fat and saturated fat then whole milk. About 12.5 grams of fat less. It’s also lower in calories. If this is important to you, go with the part skim.
From a texture and taste stand point, whole milk ricotta is creamier and richer in flavor because of the additional fat. Using whole milk ricotta will yield a creamier sauce for the brussels sprouts and ricotta pasta. Part skim ricotta will be a little grittier in texture. The flavor is still good, but I find the texture and consistency of the sauce to be superior when you use whole milk ricotta.
More Easy Pasta Recipes
- Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pesto Pasta
- Asparagus Goat Cheese Pasta
- One Pot Parmesan Chicken, Spinach, and Orzo
- Pumpkin Cacio e Pepe
- Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Pasta
- 12 ounces uncooked pasta such as cavatappi
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed and finely sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, grated or minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta in salted water just until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining it.
- While the pasta cooks, add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, swirl the oil to coat the bottom. Add in the onion, brussels sprouts, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are tender and caramelized, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the pasta, ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, and about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the skillet. Stir everything together until a sauce forms. Add additional pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Top with extra shredded parmesan cheese if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 165mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 18g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.