Warm pasta salad with ricotta and peas: This is an incredibly easy 15 minute spring or summer meal that only requires one pot to make!!

Warm Pasta Salad with Ricotta and Peas

I could go on and on about how miserably hot it’s been here in the northeast recently but you guys don’t want to hear about that, do you?  Especially those of you who also melt into puddles when you step outside, I’m sure.

So let’s talk about this warm pasta salad with ricotta and peas instead.  When it’s this hot in the summer, I don’t want to cook.  I want dinner delivered to my door.

Homegrown Garden Peas

Buuuut, since that’s not practical nor smart to do on a regular basis, I can boil a pot of water to cook some pasta and blanch some peas.  I can dollop some ricotta cheese on top of said pasta and pea along with a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes and fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.

And I can certainly enjoy a 15 minute dinner on the early evening shady deck, in my bathing suit, right before I throw the “you have to wait 30 minutes after eating before going swimming” rule out the window and jump immediately back in the pool.  It is summer, after all, isn’t it?

Cooking should almost be optional this time of year and this warm pasta salad with ricotta and peas, with all of its melty ricotta goodness, certainly fits the bill.

Warm Pasta Salad with Ricotta and Peas

  • Prep Time: 15min (while the pasta cooks)
  • Cook Time: 15min
  • Yield: 4-6 servings (dinner) | 6-8 servings (side dish)


If you can’t find sugar snap peas, go for regular snap peas in their pods. If you can’t find peas in the pod, toss about 1 ½ cups frozen green peas into the pot with the pasta to cook for a couple minutes and then drain with the pasta, as noted in Step 1 below.


1 lb dry pasta shapes
1 lb sugar snap peas, “strings” removed
1 oz finely grated pecorino romano or Parmesan cheese (about ½ cup)
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse or fine sea salt for sprinkling
Red pepper flakes or freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
A handful of fresh basil, cut into ribbons (about ½ cup)


  • 01

    Cook pasta according to package directions. During the last 2 minutes of cooking time, toss in the peas. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and peas together. Add both back to the original and still-warm pot.

  • 02

    Stir in ½ cup of the pasta water, cheese, and glug or two of olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or a few grinds of black pepper. Return the pot to the stove and over high heat, stir up the pasta along with some extra pasta water if it seems too dry.

    Cook for about 1 minute then turn off the heat and dollop the ricotta cheese over the top of the pasta. Transfer the pasta to a serving platter.

    Sprinkle the basil over the top and drizzle with a little extra olive oil. Serve just slightly warmed or at room temperature.

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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Leave a Comment

  • Tracey
    July 8, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Those dollops of creamy ricotta look so amazing! This is definitely my kind of summer meal 🙂

  • sara
    July 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Lovely! This pasta salad sounds really delicious – love the fresh ricotta. 🙂