Pasta with Meyer Lemon Zest, Ricotta, Arugula, and Bottarga

Amanda Hesser uses regular semolina pasta, but I much prefer the egg pasta, such as papardelle, for this dish. The richness of the egg works beautifully with the ricotta and the citrus zest. Bottarga, of course, is purely optional, but now that I’m stuck with it, expect lots of “fun” ways to spruce up meals with it. It does last a very long time, so if you’re looking for an ingredient splurge, it’s very much worth it. Just like anchovies dissolving into food only adding a bit of that salinity, bottarga does the same. If you want to the Chanel clutch errr, bottarga, just sprinkle some flaky sea salt on top and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Sea salt
1 pound wide egg pasta such as papardelle
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 Meyer Lemons
3 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Taste the water – it should taste like the ocean. Add the pasta and cook it until al dente. While the pasta cooks, grate a generous handful of parmesan into a large serving bowl. Zest the lemons into the same bowl and add the arugula. Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and reserve. Juice 1 of the lemons and reserve.

2. When the pasta is done, drain it and transfer to the bowl with the cheese, lemon, and arugula. Working quickly, sprinkle the lemon juice and some pasta water. Add the ricotta and begin to fold all the ingredients together. Keep folding until the pasta is coated with the sauce, the cheese has melted, and the arugula has wilted a bit. Season with pepper and taste. Add more lemon juice or pepper if desired. If the sauce is too gloppy, add a bit more pasta water and mix again.

3. Divide the pasta across shallow bowls. Drizzle with a hint of olive oil and shave a touch of bottarga on top before serving.

Serves 4

© 2023 Olga Massov