Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Kale
A creamy lemon ricotta sauce is one of our favorite ways to enjoy summertime pasta. With the addition of sweet caramelized onions and tender, nutrient packed kale, this quick and elegant supper is sure to be one of your family’s favorites, too.
Be sure to keep some of the starchy water when you drain the pasta. Often just discarded, this is the perfect ingredient to help create the silky, creamy sauce.
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 2 bunches (about 1.5-2lb) sweet onions, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic or 8-10 garlic scapes, minced
- 1 lb Curly kale, stems removed, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb Pasta (linguine, penne, cavatappi or rotini would work well, but use what you have on hand)
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 15 oz Whole milk ricotta
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden and caramelized. Take your time - this may take 20-30 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for another few minutes.
- Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to the package directions. Retain about one cup of the pasta water before you drain the cooked pasta. Toss hot pasta with a bit of oil.
- Add chopped kale to the onions, stirring until kale is tender, 3-5 minutes. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add cooked pasta to the vegetables. Use tongs to toss the mixture and combine. Add olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and ricotta. While combining the mixture, add reserved pasta water a little at a time as needed to create a smooth, silky consistency.
- Variation: this recipe is a delicious vegetarian meal, but it also pairs well with thin-sliced chicken breast, sausages, ground turkey or ground chicken. After onions are caramelized, sauté meats in the dutch oven until fully cooked, then proceed with the remainder of the recipe.