This amazingly flavorful Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Shrimp is perfect for any dinner occasion, so you and your family can enjoy a light, delicious fresh pasta dish with creamy ricotta, succulent shrimp, lemon juice, and fresh organic baby spinach.
I love whipping up a fabulously fast, delicious creamy pasta, and it’s so easy since I usually always have fresh or frozen shrimp on hand. Living in an Italian-American home, we typically have all of the ingredients on hand to make Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Shrimp. It’s a win-win situation when it’s a quick recipe, and you have the ingredients already in your home.
Pasta is my downfall at times; I adore it and all its versatile uses. I’m OK with loving pasta in an insane way most days. I try to stick to the organic pasta brands and eat them in moderation. If you are trying to be a bit health conscious, you can use natural, gluten-free, or, better yet, the homemade pasta that you have complete control of the ingredients used.
This is an excellent recipe for any pasta, really, and I love Angel Hair Pasta so much. I served mine with al dente Angel Hair. The sauce goes great over several noodles you can find right in the pasta aisle at your local market. I have tried several different ones with it, and each time the family enjoyed the dish. I have listed about five pasta types below for you that also work well with this dish. Feel free to use what you have in the pantry.
Types of Noodles that work well with this recipe:
Fettuccine: Flat ribbons of pasta.
Linguine: Long, thin, flat strips of pasta that resemble flattened spaghetti.
Tagliatelle: Flat ribbons of pasta, somewhere between fettuccine and pappardelle in width.
Pappardelle: Thick, flat ribbons of pasta. Almost like fettuccine, but significantly wider.
Penne: Medium-sized ridged tubes of pasta with edges cut diagonal.
A few tips for perfect pasta:
Skip adding any oil to the water. Adding oil to the water, or to cooked pasta to keep it from sticking will cause your sauce to slide off the pasta noodles.
Use plenty of cold water to fill a large pasta pot, so that once the pasta begins to cook and expand, there will be plenty of room for the noodles to move freely in the pot. Make sure your pot comes to a full boil before adding any pasta to it.
Don’t skip adding salt to the water right before adding the uncooked pasta, use at least one teaspoon of salt to a gallon of water.
Bring the water to a full boil before even thinking of adding the pasta, and stir continuously for a minute or so when you first add the pasta to prevent it from sticking. After that, stir occasionally.
Carefully read the pasta packaging, different types of pasta usually have different cooking times, I use the al dente method.
Drain the pasta just enough to remove most of the water; however, don’t let the drained pasta sit. As it cools, the starches will firm up, and the pasta will stick back together. Also, don’t forget to reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Add pasta to the sauce immediately. Always have the sauce ready before you cook the pasta. Keep the sauce on a warm heat setting in a large, wide saucepan, large enough to add the cooked pasta too. Add the cooked pasta immediately.
See how creamy and amazing this pasta recipe looks? You can thank the ricotta, parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and pasta water for all that dreamy creaminess over those wonderful Angel Hair Noodles that are cooked al dente. Some of you might be wondering two things when reading this right now.
Frequently asked Questions
Why do you add the pasta water to the recipe? By adding about a ladle full of water to the sauce before adding the pasta, the salty, starchy water will lend flavor to the sauce and will help the sauce adhere to the pasta a little better.
What does al dente mean? Cooked yet, still firm to the bite. Dry pasta usually will have directions to cook the pasta al dente on the back of the box or package if you are unsure how long it takes to achieve.
Can I use thin spaghetti noodles in place of the Angel Hair pasta? Feel free to use thin spaghetti noodles; it will not change the recipe much. See the above information about the types of noodles that work well in the method.
What type of shrimp do you recommend to use? I prefer to use wild shrimp, be sure to look for certification from the Marine Stewardship Council or shrimp listed as *Best Choice* or *Good Alternative* on seafoodwatch.org
Measuring Spoons – to measure the ingredients.
Measuring cups- to measure the ingredients.
Small Kitchen knife– to remove veins from the shrimp.
Zester– To zest fresh lemons for the recipe.
Box grater– To freshly grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Pasta pot – To cook the pasta in.
Large skillet – To cook the shrimp.
Wooden Spoon – To stir the recipe.
Pasta spoon – To remove the pasta and serve.
Pasta plates or bowls – To serve the Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Shrimp.
Shopping list for Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Shrimp
*See exact measurements, Instructions, servings, and nutrition info via the recipe card below*
Extra-virgin olive oil– To cook the jumbo shrimp. Do not use vegetable, peanut, r canola oil.
Jumbo shrimp– Always be sure they are as fresh as possible, remove shells, and the vein.
Cloves garlic- Adds a nice layer of flavor to the pasta, use fresh instead of minced in a jar for the best results.
Fresh Baby spinach – Be sure to steam just until slightly wilted for the best results
Red pepper flakes– This adds a little kick to the pasta. Use as little or as much as you like.
Kosher Salt- Don’t skip this step. Add to your taste
Fresh ground white pepper- To your own taste. You may sub with fine black pepper in a pinch
Lemon juice– Use only freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best results.
Fresh lemon zest -Use only freshly zested lemons for the best results.
Ricotta cheese – Use a quality brand for the best flavor and consistency.
Heavy cream – It is suggested that you use heavy cream to make this sauce but in a pinch whole milk can be used.
Parmigiano-Reggiano – Buy a quality brand of finely shredded Parmesan. I do not recommend using the cheaper version that comes in a shake container.
Dry Angel Hair pasta or Thin Spaghetti is my preferred pasta to serve it with. However, bove is a list of other pasta types that go great with this recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Shrimp.
Sliced lemons, for serving, optional
Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Shrimp
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring spoons
- Small Kitchen knife
- Box grater
- Pasta Pot
- Large skillet
- Wooden Spoon
- Pasta Spoon
- Pasta plates or bowls
- 4 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds Fresh jumbo shrimp shells removed
- 5 cloves Garlic chopped
- 10 ounces Baby spinach leaves organic
- 1 pinch Red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt to own taste
- White pepper to own taste
- 1 1½ teaspoons Lemon zest freshly zested
- 3 tablespoons Fresh Lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups Ricotta cheese full fat
- ¼ cup Heavy cream or Half and Half cream may sub with whole milk
- ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano + more to serve
- 1 pound Organic Angel hair pasta cooked al dente
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil, add the pasta noodles, and cook for about 8 minutes. Start the cooking process of the pasta. Be sure to see tips and tricks on the blog for the best pasta. Once done, drain pasta but do not rinse the pasta ( reserve 1 cup of water t add to the sauce)
- Place a large metal skillet on medium heat until hot. Add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the metal skillet, then add the thawed jumbo shrimp, cook for 4 minutes before adding the chopped garlic, and the baby spinach, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and white pepper to own taste. Cook until the Jumbo shrimp has turned white in color and spinach slightly wilts. Set to the side until needed.
- Once the pasta has finished draining, and you have reserved 1 ladle of pasta water, add the pasta to the large metal skillet with the cooked jumbo shrimp, the last tablespoon of olive oil, fresh lemon zest, lemon juice, ricotta cheese, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese. Toss with the pasta to combine the ingredients.
- To serve, place the pasta in a pasta dish and top with Parmesan cheese and fresh slices of lemon if desired.
- Fettuccine: Flat ribbons of pasta.
- Linguine: Long, thin, flat strips of pasta that resemble flattened spaghetti.
- Tagliatelle: Flat ribbons of pasta, somewhere between fettuccine and pappardelle in width.
- Pappardelle: Thick, flat ribbons of pasta. Almost like fettuccine, but significantly wider.
- Penne: Medium-sized ridged tubes of pasta with edges cut diagonal.
Don’t forget to save the recipe by hitting Pin or Print!