Green Goddess Ricotta Pasta


We take the flavors of green goddess dressing—lemon, anchovy and herbs—and use them as the base for a colorful, bright pasta sauce. We like a mix of basil, chives, parsley and tarragon, but you can mix herbs depending on what you have on hand. Adding ricotta to the sauce creates a luscious, velvety texture, while the acidity from the lemon juice balances out the creaminess. We use shells, which hold the pools of sauce well, but you could easily swap in another noodle if you prefer. To amp up the veggies even more, try adding asparagus or peas to the dish.

a recipe photo of the Green Goddess Ricotta Pasta
Photo: Photographer: Sara Baurley, Food Stylist: Julia Levy, Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat pasta shells

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallot

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • ¾ teaspoon anchovy paste

  • 2 cups packed baby spinach

  • 1 cup chopped mixed fresh tender herbs (such as basil, chives, parsley and/or tarragon), plus more for garnish

  • cup part-skim ricotta cheese

  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil; add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water; drain the pasta and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic; cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add anchovy paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spinach; cook, stirring constantly, until bright green and wilted, about 1 minute.

  3. Transfer the spinach mixture to a blender. Add herbs, ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt; blend on medium-high speed until smooth and bright green, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, if necessary, to thin the sauce.

  4. Transfer the sauce to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pasta and 1/2 cup Parmesan; toss to coat until warmed through, about 1 minute, adding pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

  5. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Garnish with additional herbs, if desired.

To make ahead

Refrigerate sauce (Steps 2-3) in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To serve, proceed with Step 4; add cooked pasta once the sauce is hot.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

393 Calories
16g Fat
49g Carbs
18g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 393
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 18g 36%
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Vitamin A 2796IU 56%
Vitamin C 19mg 21%
Vitamin D 5IU 1%
Vitamin E 1mg 9%
Folate 60mcg 15%
Vitamin K 228mcg 190%
Sodium 547mg 24%
Calcium 295mg 23%
Iron 4mg 22%
Magnesium 113mg 27%
Potassium 407mg 9%
Zinc 3mg 27%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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