Tuesday, May 3, 2022

One-Pot Lemony Ricotta Pasta and Roasted Broccolini - yummy dinner #recipe by @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  This one-pot dinner is so simple and so yummy that I was surprised to discover that I’d never shared it here. Lemon and basil are two of the signal tastes of spring, to my mind anyway. To add even more of the taste of spring, toss peas, asparagus, or baby spinach in with the pasta in the last couple of minutes, or stir fresh arugula into the sauce after you add the pasta. 

Remember my caution about lemon juice: so easy to overdo, impossible to undo. The original called for 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons); I use 2 and a squeeze. Your kitchen, your call.

Though I love the added vegetables, the evening I took the pictures, we served this pasta with roasted broccolini. So simple you don’t need a recipe. Just wash and trim. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper on your baking sheet, and roast at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes. So good! Tuck it in the oven and let it roast while you prepare the pasta. 

Serve your lemony pasta with a spring-loaded salad, crusty bread, and a crisp white wine and sail off into the sunset. Or whatever. 

One-pot Lemony Ricotta Pasta 

Adapted from the New York Times

kosher salt

1 pound penne or another short, ribbed pasta 

1 cup (8 ounces) ricotta, whole milk or part-skim

1 cup Parmesan, plus more for serving

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

black pepper

red pepper flakes (optional)

1/4 cup basil leaves, julienned or torn

optional vegetables such as peas or cut asparagus

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, adding any optional vegetables 2-3 minutes before done. Save 1 to 1-1/2  cups pasta water, then drain. Do not rinse.

Use the same pot to make the sauce. Over low heat, stir together the ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, zest, juice, black pepper, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir to mix well.

Add ½ cup pasta water to sauce and stir until smooth. Stir in the pasta until noodles are well-coated. (If you’re using arugula, add it now.) Add more pasta water as needed and stir until the pasta is well-coated and the sauce is smooth. 

Spoon into pasta bowls and garnish with additional Parmesan and the basil.


PEPPERMINT BARKED: A Spice Shop Mystery (coming July 19, 2022 from Seventh St. Books)

From the cover: 
A Dickens of a Christmas turns deadly…

As the holiday season lights up Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece’s beloved Spice Shop is brimming with cinnamon, nutmeg, and shoppers eager to stuff their stockings. Add to the mix a tasty staff competition—a peppermint bark-off—along with Victorian costumes for this year’s Dickensian Christmas theme, and Pepper almost forgets to be nervous about meeting her fisherman boyfriend’s brother for the first time.

But when a young woman working in her friend Vinny’s wine shop is brutally assaulted, costumed revelers and holiday cheer are the last things on Pepper’s mind. Who would want to hurt Beth? Or were they looking for Vinny instead?

The vicious attack upsets everyone at Pike Place, but none more than Pepper’s own employee, Matt Kemp. At first, Pepper is baffled by his reaction, but his clandestine connection to Beth could hold the key to the assailant’s motive. Or perhaps it’s Vinny’s ex-wife who knows more than she’s letting on . . . and what about the mysterious top-hatted man with whom Pepper saw Beth arguing that morning?

As the secrets of the market come to light, long-held grudges, family ties, and hidden plans only further obscure the truth. Is it a ghost of the past rattling its chains, or a contemporary Scrooge with more earthly motives? As Pepper chases down a killer, someone is chasing her, and in the end, the storied market itself may hold the final, deadly clue.

A cozy holiday mystery full of culinary delights and a rich cast of characters, the sixth installment in the Spice Shop Mystery series will keep you turning the page . . . and reaching for another piece of peppermint bark. 

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Peppermint Barked, her 6th Spice Shop mystery, will appear in July 2022, and Blind Faith, her second standalone suspense novel (written as Alicia Beckman), will release in October 2022. 

A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by Leslie's website and join the mailing list for her seasonal newsletter. And join her on Facebook where she shares book news and giveaways from her writer friends, and talks about food, mysteries, and the things that inspire her.


  1. Thank you for this yummy sounding recipe!

    So looking forward to "PEPPERMINT BARKED". Definitely on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. This sounds like a cheesy delight!