This easy tomato ricotta pasta recipe combines my favorite things: lush ricotta cheese and spicy tomato sauce with mushrooms. If you’ve been looking for a good pasta with ricotta recipe, this one’s for you.
This pasta is a dream recipe. The sauce is beyond easy to make and you need just a few ingredients.
How to make this easy tomato ricotta pasta recipe:
I happened to have a lot of ricotta cheese leftover from my manicotti recipe, so I used it in this tomato ricotta pasta recipe along with a few other ingredients, including:
- Crushed red pepper
- Wine, water, sweet vermouth, or vegetable stock
- Crushed tomatoes
- Ricotta cheese
Chances are, you probably have most of those items in your fridge or pantry as it is! Want to make some substitutions? Here are my suggestions:
- Mushrooms: Not a fan of tomato sauce with mushrooms? Try it with eggplant or zucchini, or swap it with a meat or plant-based protein instead. Sausage, ground beef, cannellini beans, or tofu crumbles would work here!
- Ricotta cheese: Mascarpone would be delicious if you don’t have ricotta. Alternatively, you can add cream and finish with parmesan cheese instead.
- Spinach: Try it with escarole, kale, or arugula instead.
Step 1: To make it, simply fry up the onions and mushrooms first. Add lots of garlic, crushed red pepper, and deglaze with a liquid of choice, like water, wine, or sweet vermouth.
Step 2: Pour in tomatoes and add a big pinch of sugar. I like sauces that are on the sweet and spicy side of the spectrum, so you can omit the sugar if you’re not a fan. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 40–45 minutes.
Step 3: While the sauce cooks, boil up your favorite pasta. I used spaghetti, but rigatoni would work well here too!
Step 4: Finish the sauce by stirring in ricotta and spinach and toss with the cooked pasta.
You’ll have an absolutely gorgeous, lush tomato sauce that tastes amazing.
Easy Tomato Ricotta Pasta
- Large pot
- Large pot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed, wiped clean, and sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- ¼ cup wine, sweet vermouth, vegetable stock, or water
- 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- Pinch of sugar to taste
- 16 ounces spaghetti
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 3 ounces spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Fresh basil leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
Start the sauce:
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Melt the butter into the pot. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often for 8–10 minutes until they begin to deepen in color and develop a golden-brown crust around the edges. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir the minced garlic and crushed red pepper in the mushrooms. Cook for 1 minute.
Simmer the sauce:
- Pour in the water, wine, or stock and lift up anything stuck to the bottom of the pot. Pour in the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a generous pinch of sugar if you like. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
Cook the pasta:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil as the sauce cooks. Add salt and spaghetti. Cook until al dente. Scoop out ½ cup of the water and set aside. Drain the pasta.
Finish the sauce:
- Stir the ricotta and spinach into the tomato sauce. As soon as the spinach begins to wilt, add the pasta and toss to coat. Add the pasta water as needed to loosen up the sauce so that it coats the pasta evenly. Taste and season once more.
- Divide the cooked pasta between shallow bowls. Garnish with parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and black pepper. Enjoy!