Pasta with ricotta-walnut sauce

(FreeImages.com/Patrick Moore)

This sauce can be made in advance; it will keep for up to 2 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. Heat gently before tossing with hot, freshly cooked pasta.

8 ounces vermicelli


½ cup ricotta cheese

½ cup plain yogurt

½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, preferably toasted

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon butter, softened

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Freshly ground pepper, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, and steamed broccoli florets for garnish


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat; add the vermicelli. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until al dente, about 9 to 11 minutes, or according to package instructions.

White the pasta is cooking, process the ricotta cheese, yogurt, walnuts, Parmesan, butter, and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a small nonstick saucepan; heat, stirring occasionally, just until warm.

When the pasta is done, drain well. Return to the pot; add the sauce and toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning.