This is a fast and simple Fusilli Pasta recipe that can be on the table in under 15 minutes. It’s a straightforward Italian Classic with a twist. The Pesto and Creamy Ricotta makes this a smooth, tasty and nourishing meal for the whole family for any night of the week.
Sydney summers can be long, hot, sticky and humid. And, today is just another one of them. Actually, this has truly been a long, hot summer. In actual fact, we are into Autumn, but you’d never know looking at the temperature gauge.
While I love cooking, on days like this, it can be challenging spending any time in a hot kitchen. So, it is no surprise to you by now that this little recipe is quick and easy to whip up without compromising on quality or flavour. It’s my take on the simple pesto with a creamy, delicious ricotta flavour to add some va-voom!
And, pasta fusilli (or spiral pasta) are a little different to penne or spaghetti, don’t you think?
My tips for a delicious Fusilli pasta with pesto & creamy ricotta
- While your pasta is cooking (approx. 10 minutes), you’re going to bring all the other ingredients together to assemble later. Prepping the ingredients ensures the fusilli pasta remains hot, without overcooking, when the pesto and ricotta are mixed through it to create a creamy mixture.
- I use Fusilli for this recipe because I love that the spirals capture the creaminess of the sauce as opposed to sliding off a thin, smooth spaghetti. Any other textured pasta is also good, e.g. Cavatappi (cork-screw shaped pasta) or Farfalle (butterfly shaped pasta) are also suitable.
- Before straining the cooked pasta, take out a ladle of the pasta water to use in your sauce. This helps to create a thick and creamy sauce.
- To save time, cook the peas together with the pasta. Simply add them into the boiling water 2 minutes before the pasta is ready.
Pesto and Creamy Ricotta Sauce
While the pasta is cooking, gather all other ingredients. You will need:
- Full cream ricotta cheese – I choose full cream as this brings a more rich, creamy smoothness to the mixture. You may substitute this with cream cheese too.
- Pesto sauce – I make my own and freeze it so that I have it handy even when basil is no longer in season. I’ll share the recipe with you shortly – STAY TUNED! Good quality store-bought pesto is also good.
- Dry roasted pine-nuts – These add some crunch and nuttiness to the creamy pesto ricotta combo.
Place these ingredients into a bowl. Once the pasta and peas have cooked, strain and toss into the bowl or pan with the pesto and ricotta ingredients. Toss with two wooden spoons so that each fusilli pasta is coated with the mixture. Add a small ladle of the reserved water to the pasta dish as you are stirring. This will thicken the sauce making it smooth and luscious.
For another quick and easy pasta recipe, check out my traditional, NO CREAM, Spaghetti all Carbonara. I’m sure you’ll love it!
Fusilli Pasta with Pesto & Creamy Ricotta
- 250 g fusilli pasta (spirals)
- 1/2 cup green peas (frozen or fresh)
- 4 tbsp pesto sauce
- 4 tbsp ricotta cheese (full cream)
- 2 tbsp dry roasted pine-nuts
- 1 tbsp parmesan cheese (finely grated)
- small bunch basil leaves (fresh)
- 50 ml pasta water (reserved before straining)
- Bring a 3 litre pot of boiling water to the boil. Add the fusilli pasta and cook for 11 minutes. Tip - put the timer on so you don't overcook the pasta. Pasta should be al-dente or firm when bitten.
- While the pasta is cooking, place the pesto, ricotta, and pine-nuts into a pan or glass bowl.
- When you have 2 minutes left on the timer, throw in the peas. These will cook through quickly.
- Reserve a small ladle of pasta water before straining the pasta into a colander.
- Place the pasta into the pan or bowl with the other ingredients and add the reserved water. Using 2 wooden spoons, toss the pasta and pesto well so that each spiral of pasta is coated with the creamy mixture.
- Sprinkle with a tablespoon of parmesan cheese and top with some fresh basil leaves. Serve.