- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 25 minutes
- Serves 4
For a quick dinner, I took an idea from my childhood and put my own spin on it: pasta of your choice (I use linguine) with ricotta and milk, plus a topping of bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, butter, and Parmigiano.
A couple of notes: Take the ricotta out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you prepare the dish, as it will need to be room temperature. You don’t have to be exact with the measurements: Tailor it to suite your taste. Double the ingredients to feed a larger crowd.
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe is a brilliant reminder of the pleasure that can come from combining just a few simple ingredients. I was surprised by the quantity of breadcrumb topping -- 1 1/2 cups is a lot of breadcrumbs -- but it really does set this dish apart by providing a welcome contrast to the richness of the ricotta. —Etta
Garlic Parmigiano Breadcrumbs
splash of olive oil
small cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 1/2 cups
fresh bread crumbs
handful flat-leaf parsley chopped
The pasta and sauce
linguine (or whatever pasta you like)
milk, plus more as needed (you can also add some of the hot pasta water if you find it's a bit dry)
ricotta, at room temperature
grated Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
salt and pepper, plus more to taste
- Breadcrumb topping; In a skillet, melt butter with a splash of olive oil, then add the garlic and cook until it softens and is just starting to brown. Add the bread crumbs and continue to cook until the crumbs are lightly browned. Take off the heat and pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the1/4 c Parmigiano, parsley, and lemon zest, stir to combine, and set aside. To make fresh breadcrumbs just pulse some bread in the food processor. I always use stale bread for this, pulsing it and storing in the freezer in a zip lock bag.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When there is a rolling boil, add a lot of salt—taste the water; it should taste salty. Put the pasta in and stir to separate. Cook al dente. Reserve a little of the pasta water in case you need it if you feel the finished dish is too dry.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat your milk until it's hot to the touch (I microwaved it for 45 seconds). Put the ricotta and additional 1/4 c Parmigiano in your serving bowl and add the hot milk, stir to combine, season to taste. When the pasta is al dente, drain and add the hot pasta to the bowl with the ricotta-milk mixture. Toss to combine and top with the bread crumbs that you set aside.. Add a little more grated Parmigiano if you like and serve.