Pasta Carbonara with Ricotta Cheese
This recipe is an easy way to dress up traditional pasta carbonara simply by adding a creamy ricotta mixture to warm pasta, creating a semi-rich, flavorful creamy, cheese sauce.
What is Pasta Carbonara?
Pasta Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish with a few simple, yet flavorful ingredients including Parmesan cheese, eggs and black pepper. Traditional carbonara recipes do not include cream or cream cheese.
What is Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta is a fresh, unripened cheese from cows, sheep or goats; it’s the “whey” part of a cheese…remember “Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey?” Well, ricotta cheese is the whey part of the cheese-making process and cottage cheese is the “curds” part of the process. In Spain, Ricotta is “Requesón” and in Portugal, it’s “Requeijao.”
Can I Substitute Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese acts as a good substitute for ricotta in Pasta Carbonara with Ricotta. However, cottage cheese has more liquid than ricotta, so drain the liquid prior to incorporating it into the recipe. Use a fine strainer or cheesecloth to drain cottage cheese before adding it to the recipe.
How do I Make Pasta Carbonara with Ricotta?
This dish is easy to make in three simple steps:
- Cook the pasta in boiling water
- In a large bowl, combine Ricotta, Parmesan, egg and seasonings
- Using tongs, transfer cooked pasta to a large skillet; add cheese mixture and a some reserved pasta water
- 1 lb. pasta spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine
- 15 oz ricotta cheese whole fat; not skim
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 cup Parmigiana Reggiano cheese grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup tomato , diced (as garnish)
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil (as garnish)
- 1-2 tablespoons high quality olive oil (optional) to drizzle over finished dish
Bring large stockpot of water to boil; add pasta; while pasta is cooking, make ricotta mixture
In a large bowl, combine Ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, salt and pepper
Using tongs, transfer pasta directly from boiling pot to a large skillet (on medium heat)
Add 1 cup of warm, reserved pasta water to the pasta; combine well
Add Ricotta/Parmesan mixture to skillet; combine well by tossing with tongs
Add more pasta water if desired
Once pasta is well-coated with cheese mixture, plate, garnish with fresh diced tomatoes and fresh basil; garnish with additional Parmesan if desired
Drizzle with olive oil and serve
- Adjust the thickness/thinness of the cheese sauce by adding more reserved pasta water, or by adding more cheese.