FOOD: Lemon ricotta pasta with garlicky chilli crumb

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The recipe below is the perfect spring dish and makes for a quick and easy week-night meal. If you’re a big fan of lemons, like I am, you will love how the juice and zest can transform this unassuming dish into something that tastes of pure sunshine. To make this dish a little more nutritious, you can add in a few handfuls of spinach, steamed broccoli or cauliflower, or even some leftover protein, like chicken or salmon. Simple, fresh ingredients, easy on the wallet, delicious flavour and minimal effort! Enjoy.

PREP TIME:  5 MINS

COOK TIME:  12 MINS

SERVES:  4-5 PEOPLE

INGREDIENTS
450g spaghetti
1 1/4 cup ricotta
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly-grated parmesan
1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, sliced
Juice of one lemon, plus zest of half

 

 

CRUMB
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup panko crumbs
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (add more if you’d like more spice!)

METHOD
1.  Bring a large pot of well-salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions. Once the pasta is al dente, drain, but make sure you save one cup of the pasta water. Drizzle a little olive oil over the spaghetti.

2.  Start with the crumb. Mince three cloves of garlic and, in a large fry pan, heat the olive oil to a medium-high heat. Add in the breadcrumbs, chilli and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper.

3.  Thoroughly combine and cook until the breadcrumbs are golden, usually takes about 3 mins. Place on a paper towel to drain, and set aside.

4.  Next, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta, olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice and zest, basil and parsley. You can add a few chilli flakes here if you like a bit of spice.

5.  Pop the pasta back into the pan you used for the breadcrumbs and heat to a medium heat. Add in the ricotta and cup of the pasta water. Thoroughly combine and remove from heat. Add in a little more pasta water if the sauce is too thick.

6.  Add in half the breadcrumbs and combine. You can either serve up evenly across five bowls, then sprinkle over the remaining garlic chilli crumb, or simply sprinkle the crumbs over the spaghetti in the pan and serve up at the table.