Penne with asparagus and ricotta

penne with asparagus and ricotta

You asked for a recipe with asparagus and here’s another one straight after your lovely lasagne, dear Candi. After all they are in season so we must strike the iron while it’s hot, so to speak. By the way, apologies for the very amateurish photos.  They remind me of those terrible pics you see outside Greek tavernas to entice customers to go in. They achieve the EXACT result, in fact. :-( Still, I don’t possess any professional photographic equipment, only my mobile phone, I am afraid. So you are stuck with these unprofessional pictures. I put them to give you a rough idea of what the dishes look like (much better in reality. Trust me) and to prove I’ve actually made the stuff. The pasta dish I cooked last night is straight out of the Riverford recipe leaflet I get every week with my veggies. (Brilliant outfit! Great service! I advise you to check out the recipe section on their website. There are some really interesting vegetable dishes.) I thought it was very nice (and straightforward) so I decided to share it with you (slightly amended).


  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tub ricotta cheese (250 gr.), crumbled
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • ½ small glass dry white wine
  • leaves from 1 small bunch basil, sliced into fine ribbons
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • zest from 1 small lemon
  • grating of fresh nutmeg
  • salt + black pepper, to season
  • 400g penne or other dried pasta


  1. Slice the asparagus stalks finely but keep the tips whole. Blanch the tips only in fast-boiling salted water for 1-2 mins until just tender. Refresh immediately under cold water to stop the cooking. Place the ricotta, 2 tbsp olive oil,  parmesan, the basil, lemon zest, nutmeg and seasoning in a large pasta serving bowl and mix gently.
  2. Start the pasta cooking. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan.
  3. Add the sliced asparagus stalks and stir fry for a couple of mins until bright green and just starting to tenderise. Add the garlic, stir again and add the white wine. Bubble away for another couple of mins until the wine is reduced to a syrupy sauce around the asparagus. Allow to cool for a few mins and add to the ricotta mix in the serving bowl.
  4. Drain the cooked pasta and add to the serving bowl. Toss well with the sauce until the pasta is well coated, adding more seasoning and olive oil to taste – lots of black pepper works well. Finally scatter over the blanched asparagus tips. Serve with extra grated parmesan if you wish.

Related posts:

2 Responses to “Penne with asparagus and ricotta”

  • Che dici? Ti piace il bordino verde per la tua verde foto?
    Che le nostro foto siano solo uno spunto e non abbiano proprio alcuna pretesa lo sapevamo fin dall’inizio… Dobbiamo far finta di non essere perfette sotto tutti i punti di vista. Come Mary Poppins daremmo nell’occhio, no?

  • Love the green border. Thank you!! As to perfection I think it’s greatly overrated. No room for improvement, right? Mind you I LOVE Mary Poppins. She is my hero…well, heroine!..:-)

Leave a Reply