Ricotta cheese was on sale “buy 1 get 1 free” and they were the large containers. So 2 large containers ended up costing me less than one smaller container, which was still more than I needed. I take opportunities like this to explore new recipes. Eldest is tired of chicken. Around here chicken is today’s hamburger, in terms of cost per serving. For example, a whole chicken at .89 a pound yields about 2.5 servings per pound, making each serving cost approximately .36 cents, where I’m lucky to find decent ground beef on sale for less than $2/pound, which with 4 servings per pound is equal to 50 cents/serving. Plus, I can use the leftover chicken parts to make broth and easily get a quart or two of good broth out of it. But I digress…
I saw some frozen shrimp on sale and decided to please the eldest with something. She’d happily just eat them plain, of course, or dipped in cocktail sauce. I found a recipe that used ricotta cheese to make an Alfredo-like sauce and decided to kill two birds with one stone. The sauce came out quite good. Plus while looking for it I found recipes for ricotta pancakes, ricotta cookies, and innumerable pasta recipes, plus the Soprano-made-famous ricotta pie.
Spaghetti with Shrimp and Ricotta Sauce
- 1/2 pound of spaghetti
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 pound of shrimp
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1/4 cup grated cheese
- Start a large pot of water to boil and add the pasta (spaghetti, fettuccine, whatever) at some point during the below process so it’s all done at the same time. If you’re unsure, cook the sauce and leave it on low to keep warm while you cook the pasta. It’s more important that the pasta not sit around than the shrimp.
- Heat the butter in a saucepan and cook the garlic and red pepper flakes a few minutes, until the garlic is softened. In a small bowl whisk together the ricotta and milk, then add to the pan and stir until warmed. Mix in the other ingredients. If the shrimp is raw, heat at a very low simmer until cooked through. If the shrimp is cooked, just heat through.
I actually used cheddar cheese here and it was good. The recipe I started with had you adding frozen peas and Monterey Jack cheese (or Sonoma Jack as I would call it, being raised there!). I think Parmesan would actually be the best but I was lazy and had a spot of cheddar to use up.
The girl who doesn’t like shrimp loved the sauce and was happy. The girl who loves shrimp was happy to have extra shrimp. The recipe I started with said it served 6 but the three of us wiped it out except for a bit of leftover pasta. My girls are good eaters and had just finished an hour and a half of swimming but I don’t think they ate two portions worth–and I know I didn’t. I served it with a side of green beans and yellow squash. Of course, they did still have room for the leftover Indian blood peach pie.