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Pasta with Creamy Lemon Vodka Sauce


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  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more depending on how spicy you want it)
  • ½ cup vodka
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • Zest of 2 lemons, 1 lemon juiced
  • Chopped fresh parsley and basil
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese



Step 1

1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 6 to 7 minutes.
2. While the pasta cooks, sauté the garlic and crushed red pepper in olive oil in a large skillet for 3 minutes. Add the vodka and lemon zest and simmer to reduce by half, about 3 more minutes. Add the ricotta cheese and stir to combine.

3. When the pasta is just about cooked, add a ladle of starchy pasta cooking water to the skillet with the sauce. When the cheese is warmed through, whisk the lemon juice into the sauce and season with salt and some of the fresh herbs.

4.Drain the pasta (reserve another cup or so of the pasta water) and toss with the sauce, then let the pasta stand for a couple of minutes so it can soak up a little of the sauce and lots of flavor. Add more of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick.

5. Toss with more of the parsley, basil and a couple handfuls of grated cheese.

6. To serve, place the pasta in a large serving bowl and sprinkle with more of the fresh herbs and grated cheese.

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