Penne Primavera with Ricotta & Basil

Having found some gluten free pasta that satisfies my tastes, I’ve very happily returned to eating one of my favourite foods. Just in time for the arrival of the first vegetables of spring/primavera, this fast and delicious recipe that features green veg comes together very quickly, as is the Italian way. If gluten is not an issue for you, just use your favourite penne.


If you put the water for the pasta on to boil first, the remainder of the dish can be prepped and cooked by the time the penne is ready. Like all pasta recipes, be sure to save some of the cooking water after draining. Particularly for this recipe where the sauce’s main ingredient is ricotta cheese, it’s a necessity for proper consistency – to be able to cling to and coat the pasta.

Turns out a recommendation to try brown rice pasta was a very good one! With the texture being much more like what we’re used to, rather than the corn & rice varieties previously sampled, it’s the closest I’ve found so far, to the real thing. Now, if someone could only figure out how to do a brown rice linguine~

Penne Primavera with Ricotta & Basil
Serves 2
Highlighting the first vegetables of spring, this quick & easy recipe can be made with gluten free or regular pasta. Quantities can be easily doubled.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 2 cups brown rice gluten free penne (or regular penne if gluten not an issue)
  2. 4 - 5 stalks asparagus, trimmed and bottoms peeled
  3. 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 TBSP butter
  5. Fresh peas to yield approx. 1/2 cup shelled
  6. 3 green onions, diced
  7. Pinch Kosher salt
  8. Few grinds fresh black pepper
  9. 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature
  10. Few leaves fresh basil, cut into shreds/julienne
  11. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil for garnish
  1. Put a medium to large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
  2. Cut the asparagus into 1/2 inch diagonal pieces and set aside.
  3. Shell the peas and set aside.
  4. Cut the green onions into 1/4 inch pieces and set aside.
  5. When the water is ready put the pasta on to boil and start on the sauce.
  6. Heat the skillet over medium and add the olive oil and butter.
  7. Add the asparagus, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and stir fry for a couple minutes.
  8. Add the peas and green onions, cook stirring for about 5 minutes - you want the veg tender crisp for best taste, but cook longer if you prefer. If the pasta is not yet cooked, turn the heat off the veg, and cover until that time. Turn the heat back on when draining the pasta.
  9. When the pasta is cooked, either drain it, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid or using a slotted spoon, transfer it to the vegetables in the skillet, with a bit of the cooking liquid.
  10. Turn the heat to low, add the ricotta cheese and gently mix, adding a bit of cooking water as needed, to thin the sauce and have it cling to the penne.
  11. Add the basil, taste and adjust the seasoning for salt & pepper, adding as desired.
  12. Serve garnished with fresh basil.
  1. Tip: Warm your serving bowl with some of the reserved pasta cooking water.
  2. Quantities easily multiplied to serve more.
farm girl city chef


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