Dinner Tonight: Lemon Ricotta Spaghetti and Fresh Strawberries in a Pink Cloud

Inspiration for tonight's dinner: dive on in to ricotta-coated swirls of spaghetti and ambrosial pink clouds of creamy strawberried bliss. Oh. Yes. An elegant springtime dinner in less than an hour -- Happy Wednesday!

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The Menu

Lemon Ricotta Spaghetti with Arugula by melissav

Serves 2-3
1/2 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise as thinly as possible
2 tablespoons lemon zest, from 1-2 lemons
juice from 1 lemon
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup fresh ricotta, homemade or best quality
4-6 tablespoons leftover ricotta whey or leftover pasta boiling water
4 cups lightly packed arugula
salt

1. Bring a pot of well salted water to boil

2. While the water is coming to a boil, slice the garlic and put a small saute over low heat. Add the olive oil, the garlic, and a nice pinch of salt. Let the oil and garlic slowly heat up. You don't want the garlic to brown. You are just warming the oil and letting garlic infuse it.

3. While the oil and garlic are doing their thing, zest the lemon and wash and dry the arugula.

4. Once the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and reserve some pasta water if you don't have any ricotta whey.

5. Once the pasta is boiling, turn the heat under the saute pan to as low as it goes and add the ricotta, lemon zest, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. You just want it all to warm it up while the pasta is cooking.

6. Once you drain the pasta, add it to the saute pan and toss well. Add 1/4 cup of whey or cooking water and the arugula and toss again to coat and wilt the arugula. If you feel it is too dry, add up to 2 more TB of whey or cooking water. Taste for salt and add the juice from 1/2 a lemon and toss once more.

7. Serve, topping each bowl with a few sprinkles of coarse salt or fleur de sel and a few drops of lemon juice.

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Fresh Strawberries in a Pink Cloud

Get the recipe.

The Grocery List

A lotta ricotta! (it's in both recipes! 6 tablespoons in one, 3/4 of a cup in the other)
mascarpone cheese(1/4 cup)
2 cups strawberries
4 cups arugula

We are assuming that you have lemons, red pepper flakes, dried pasta, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, honey and vanilla extract hanging around your kitchen. If not, time to stock up!

The Plan

1. The strawberries need to mingle in the honey-lemon-balsamic syrup (are you drooling yet?) for a bit, so do that first. Though AppleAnnie says to refrigerate the mixture, I would leave it out on the counter to preserve the lucsiouness of the berries and to speed up the soaking process, especially since you won't be doing an overnight soak.

2. On to the pasta! It comes together pretty quickly, so just toss it together and serve! Don't get tooo full though, you know those berries await!

3. Berries! Whip up the pink cloud (we wish everything we ate had such dreamy names, don't you?) and dive on in.

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