Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

Lemon Ricotta Pasta
Lemon Ricotta Pasta With Crispy Prosciutto

Lemon ricotta pasta sauce is so easy to whip up on a weeknight! This recipe takes the dish to the next level by incorporating crispy oven baked prosciutto that can bake while you’re prepping the rest of the ingredients. The prosciutto brings a nice salty/savoriness to compliment the tangy sauce, and the baby arugula adds some earthiness to balance out the flavors. This is one of my favorite pastas to make, it’s fancy enough to serve to dinner guests, but easy enough to throw together on a weeknight!

Key Tips – Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

Use long, thick pasta.

  • Long, thick pasta is the best vessel for this sauce. My favorite for this recipe is bucatini, but similar pasta such as spaghetti works great as well!

Omit the prosciutto for an easier, cheaper, and vegetarian dish.

  • If desired, you can skip the prosciutto and this is still a very flavorful meal.
  • This dish is a good option if you’re serving some vegetarians and some non-vegetarians. You can keep the prosciutto on the side and people can add it to their bowl as desired.

The sauce will be a little grainy, there isn’t much you can do about that.

  • My only complaint about this recipe is that the ricotta causes the sauce to be a little grainy. Typically, it looks smooth as you’re mixing it, but quickly turns grainy as it cools.
  • I’ve tried a number of ideas such as blending the sauce and using a cornstarch slurry, but I haven’t been able to get the sauce to be silky in the end. If you find a method that works, let me know!

Watch the prosciutto closely to make sure it’s crispy but not burned.

  • Make sure you keep an eye on the prosciutto as it bakes, you want to pull it from the oven when it looks similar to the picture below on the right, about 10 minutes.
Prosciutto before baking
Prosciutto before baking
Prosciutto after baking
Prosciutto after baking

Dietary Restrictions – Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

Make it Vegetarian:

  • Omit the prosciutto (it’s still a very flavorful dish!)

Make it Gluten-Free:

  • Use gluten-free pasta. Chickpea pasta is my favorite GF variety!
Lemon Ricotta Pasta
Lemon Ricotta Pasta

A Note On Serving Sizes

Serving sizes are a very personal thing, making it very difficult for me to select a serving size that suits everyone. While this is listed as 4 servings, some people would prefer to have more than one serving. I typically serve this dish as 2 large dinner portions, which are about the quantities you would expect to receive at an American restaurant. Plated in the pictures is two servings per bowl.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

Jacqueline Schell
Pasta tossed in a tart and savory lemon ricotta sauce, loaded with crispy baked prosciutto and baby arugula. Quick and easy for a weeknight!
4.86 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4



  • Preheat the oven to 400° F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Loosely roll up each piece of prosciutto and arrange them on the baking sheet. Bake until they shrivel and darken in color, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove baked prosciutto to a paper towel lined plate. Once cooled, tear into bite sized pieces.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Reserve about ½ cup pasta water, then drain. Return pasta to pot.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, olive oil, Parmesan, lemon zest, ¼ tsp black pepper, and 3 tbsp of the lemon juice (discard any extra juice).
  • Add the ricotta mixture to the pasta and toss everything together, if the sauce is too thick add the reserved pasta water 1 tbsp at a time until a sauce forms and coats the pasta evenly. Add in most of the prosciutto pieces and arugula and toss to distribute.
  • Plate the pasta, then top with more fresh cracked pepper and the remaining prosciutto and arugula. Serve immediately, add extra lemon wedge if desired.


Make this dish vegetarian by omitting the prosciutto, it still has tons of flavor!
Keyword Arugula, Crispy Prosciutto, Lemon Ricotta Pasta, Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto, Pasta, week night
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Send me pictures of your creations — it’ll make my day! Message @CraftyCookbook on Instagram or tag me in a post! Please note, tagged posts are only visible to me if your account is public. Did you make any interesting changes or substitutions for this recipe? Tell me about them in the comment section below!
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  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight after seeing your recipe earlier and it is super yummie and very simple to make. I’m enjoying it and so is the fambam, I love the simplicity of the recipe. Someone could even sub out the arugula for baby spinach and the prosciutto for bacon or ham or just omit completely. 💚

  2. 5 stars
    This was super quick to make a HUGE hit in our household! I will definitely be making this again. I added a few red chili flakes to the dish for some extra kick!

  3. 5 stars
    Just made it! Turned out delicious, i’ve never had lemon pasta before, now it’s a new fave. Used penne instead of spaghetti since it’s what I had, and a really thin cut salami instead of prosciutto. I also didn’t know I enjoyed ricotta so much. Probably only took like 20mins to make!

  4. 5 stars
    Looked so good I improvised with what was in my fridge until I can get to the store.

    Bacon instead of prosciutto – cut the strips in half before rolling and baked an extra five mins to get crispy

    No ricotta – used slightly less whipped cream cheese (came out tasty but a little heavy, ricotta will be better for sure – but it definitely wasn’t grainy so maybe a blend?)

    No fresh parm – used pregrated pizza blend of mozzarella parm etc. Used slightly more since I used less of the cream cheese.

    No arugula, used kale that I chopped and precooked so it would be soft (cooked it in the bacon grease) probs more texture and less taste than arugula so I put extra pepper on it while cooking.

    Definitely was delicious. I think I’ll keep the kale and bacon but can’t wait to try with the right cheese! Thanks for the recipe and inspiration 👍

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe was super simple and fast to make! Loved the light-ness of the ricotta and lemon. When I make it again I am going to take the ricotta out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temp before I mix it with the pasta, I think that might help it incorporate better. I might also sub the arugula for spinach so it wilts more than arugula does. Overall still giving this 5 stars!

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