Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

ultra creamy pasta without cream

(1 rating)
Recipe by
Heidi Hoerman
Hingham, MA

This recipe uses homemade ricotta cheese. When homemade ricotta melts, it becomes smooth and creamy -- not at all grainy like store-bought ricotta can be. Ricotta is made easily. All you need is milk and an acid (e.g. vinegar, lemon juice, or citric acid). Heat the milk, stir in the acid, and let the milk separate into curds and whey. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or thin cloth like an old handkerchief and ricotta cheese is the result. The whey can be used for baking bread or added to a soup.

(1 rating)
yield 2 -4
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 30 Min

Ingredients For ultra creamy pasta without cream

  • 1 qt
    whole milk (avoid ultra pasteurized milk; it may not form curds)
  • 1/4 tsp
    citric acid powder
  • 1/4 c
  • 1 gal
    boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp
  • 2 to 4
    servings shaped pasta, e.g. ziti, penne, orechietti
  • 3 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 1 to 2 md
    shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 lg
    red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 to 5 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 6 c
    baby spinach leaves or coarsely chopped mature spinach leaves
  • 1
    batch of homemade ricotta (see above)
  • 1 to 2 oz
    parmesan cheese, grated

How To Make ultra creamy pasta without cream

  • 1
    TO MAKE THE RICOTTA (Best done at least two hours before you intend to use it):
  • 2
    In a large glass bowl, heat the milk in the microwave until hot but not boiling.
  • 3
    Dissolve the citric acid powder in the 1/4 cup of water. Gently stir the acid into the hot milk. Other recipes for fresh cheese like this use lemon juice or vinegar. They are all good alternatives but do affect the flavor of the cheese a bit.
  • 4
    Let the acidulated milk separate into curds and whey. The curds are likely to be very soft the whey should be clear. If, after sitting for about 20 minutes, the whey is still milky, reheat, add in a small pinch of citric acid powder, and stir.
  • 5
    Once the curds and whey have separated, strain the mixture through a fine strainer or a thin cloth. Drain as much whey out as possible but do not squeeze dry for this application. The resulting soft white cheese is the ricotta. You may save the whey for use in bread or soup or discard it.
  • 6
  • 7
    Put the salt in the boiling water and cook the pasta according to the box directions. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  • 8
    Heat the olive oil in a large covered skillet. Saute the shallots and red peppers for 3 to 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and saute an additional minute.
  • 9
    Add the spinach to the skillet and saute about 1 minutes to wilt it. Add the pasta water, cover, and allow to simmer until most of the water disappears and the spinach is done.
  • 10
    Add the cooked pasta to the vegetables. Add the ricotta and stir to coat thoroughly. Stir in the grated parmesan and serve immediately.

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