Fresh Summer Pasta with Plugra Ricotta Sauce

by Julie Ruble on June 19, 2014 · 17 comments

Fresh Summer Pasta with Plugra Ricotta Sauce - Willow Bird Baking

Fresh Summer Pasta with Plugra Ricotta Sauce

Recipe by: Adapted from Chef Kevin Kidd
Yield: 4 servings

Start with super fresh ingredients to create this simple, fresh pasta dish! I love how quick and easy this recipe is.

28 ounces fresh OR 19 ounces dried tagliatelle or fettucine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced diagonally
1/4 cup white wine
2 ounces unsalted Plugrá European-Style Butter, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
8 spears asparagus, sliced into 2-inch chunks
8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, rough chopped
12 fresh basil leaves, rough chopped
lemon juice, salt, freshly ground pepper, Parmigiana Reggiano as needed

Prepare an ice water bath in a medium bowl. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over high heat and blanch the asparagus for 2-3 minutes before plunging them into the ice water to stop cooking. Drain the asparagus and set it aside.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat and add fresh or dried pasta. Cook 3 minutes (fresh pasta) or according to package directions (dried pasta). Going to Italy made me realize I’d been overcooking my pasta my whole life: al dente means your pasta should have a definite toothiness to it when bitten. Be careful not to overcook! Drain the finished pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water for the sauce later.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add shallots and cook for a minute before adding garlic and sautéing for close to a minute or until lightly caramelized but not burnt. Add white wine to deglaze the pan. Whisk in Plugrá butter until it’s melted and blended into the sauce. Add the green onions and asparagus and stir to heat them briefly before reducing the heat to low and adding chunks of ricotta cheese. Salt this to taste — for me, this meant a LOT of salt, because it has to salt all the pasta as well. So don’t be shy.

Add the pasta into the pan (and a little of the pasta water if you need it) and toss it in the sauce over low heat. Add most of the parsley and all of the basil and toss. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the top. Now comes the adjusting: taste your pasta and add salt, more olive oil, a healthy grating of Parmigiana Reggiano, freshly ground pepper, a spritz of lemon juice, etc., as needed to balance the flavors. You should end up with a bright, flavorful, fresh tasting pasta.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Meghan @ nestMeg June 19, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Preach it, Julie! I was so tempted to leave a troll-y comment, but I resisted. This recipe sounds amazing, and I always appreciate how you tell it like it is.


Julie Ruble June 19, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Thanks girl :)


Carol June 19, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Thanks, Julie. This looks amazing, and perfect for summer.
When I’m commenting on-line, normally I can go by the admonition that if I don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all. On a rare occasion, I get riled but usually defending someone that has been wronged in some way. I admire your posted self restraint with regards to the snarky comments you sometimes get on your blog and pins. Keep your head held high, shoulders back, and focus forward…..and keep the recipes, photos, and stories flowing.


Julie Ruble June 19, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Thanks, Carol! :)


Allie June 19, 2014 at 3:46 pm

This is a great, thought-provoking post. As part of my job, I monitor a large organization’s social media and am constantly shocked at how suspicious, argumentative, and mis-informed (but strident about their misconceptions) many of our “friends” are. I personally think of my on-line persona as my “brand.” How do I want the world to see me? How do I want my friends and family, some of whom are impressionable youngsters, to see and understand me? How do I want to be remembered when all that is left of me are little bytes of information floating around the internet? To that end, I don’t post swear words on social media. I hesitate to re-pin anything that could be misconstrued in a negative way. I try to be positive and careful of what I share with the world. This doesn’t mean that I’m boring or have put myself in a box…it just means that I’m thoughtful and aware of my impact and place in the world. I want to leave it better place and if being nice online can help accomplish that goal, then heck, why not?


Julie Ruble June 19, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Love those thoughts, Allie!!


Lawrence June 19, 2014 at 3:50 pm

I never try to put anyone down unless I perceive (perhaps wrongly, oops [ hmm…]) they are saying something mean or unfair. Paid a price last time I did that, though the commenter and I came to an amicable understanding. C’est la vie.


Lawrence June 19, 2014 at 5:56 pm

PS should this post survive “moderation,” I would love to warn you of another sort of online nastiness. There is a very slick (actually, there are 2) phishing email masquerading as sent from PayPal. It is supposedly a “notice of policy updates.” The sender is It will say they believe your info to be incomplete or erroneous, and threaten to “limit what you can do” with your account in 3 days.
Sad to say, I fell for it on May 28. It is a long story, but I dealt with it.
Anyhow, you do not have to take my word on this
Forward any such emails to They will let you know in seconds flat if it is phishing.
Again, do not take my word alone on that–“Google” “paypal phishing,” and you will find that.
If this post, or particularly Julie’s network of contacts saves one person from this, I will be most happy.
PPS There was also an Amazon one from “team AMZ.”
Should you get that one, call Amazon customer service. They also have a similar email wddress to forward suspicious email to. Google it or customer service can give it to you.


Lawyer Loves Lunch June 19, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Genuine engagement (like what you do!) is lovely! It helps two folks become better acquainted, and in the best scenarios, creates a community (like yours of delicious food lovers). People who are unkind have too much time on their hands! And um, can you send some pasta my way?! It’s dinnertime and it’s looking like we may have to eat Cheetos :)


kristy @ the wicked noodle June 20, 2014 at 9:53 am

I’ve always loved the “THINK” acronym. And I love that you shared it here! Your comment about challenging a racist statement but not someone’s cake is so spot on – I love that, too!!

Okay, just a teeny bit more gushing…I also love this awesome pasta dish. The green just brightens it all up and your table is gorgeous! And don’t even get me started on butter :)

Cheers & Happy Friday!


Kimberly June 20, 2014 at 11:13 am

Think before you speak … so simple, yet not done enough by most! Great post!

Oh, that recipe? DIVINE! I’m not sure I could think of a more perfect dish for this time of the year!


Laura June 20, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Loved this post! This pasta looks yummy and I think I could add all sorts of vegetables from my CSA box (always looking for ideas).
As for online commenting, I couldn’t agree more. A local paper publishes a food blog of sorts with info about local food related news and a fellow food blogger friend contributes. Oddly, a few months ago she began to get lots of hateful comments on her posts and sometimes comments aimed at her on other’s posts. I have no idea why, but it’s just mean and hurtful. If you don’t like something, leave and look at something else! Or give constructive feedback, but don’t be rude!


Beth @ The First Year June 20, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Julie, luckily I haven’t experienced any overly nasty comments yet, but they may be to come. Just keep on, you’re doing amazing!


Christi June 22, 2014 at 6:54 pm

This dish looks amazingly good. I was wondering what the radish side dish in the picture was? Thank you!


Julie Ruble June 22, 2014 at 9:49 pm
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche June 30, 2014 at 6:11 pm

This looks BEAUTIFUL! Delish!


Angie July 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm

I try to live by that THINK rule. I am not perfect. I am good at being kind most of the time EXCEPT when someone starts something with me. I find it very difficult to turn the other cheek and not get snippy. But I’m trying.


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