Ricotta Pasta Salad with charred bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and creamy Ricotta is healthy and quick to prep. This is a perfect light summer salad and makes for a great potluck.
I am just back from my daughter's School Anual Event. It was her first stage performance, and we were sitting in the audience as proud parents. We were as excited as her.
It was so much fun to see those adorable kids performing on stage. They were dancing out of rhythm, with no sync in their steps. All they were doing was performing from their heart and enjoying every bit.
After being out the whole day, I have no patience left, But I can't delay sharing this fantastic recipe with you guys anymore. This recipe was long pending.
Pasta salad with ricotta
Pasta doesn't always have to be loaded with cheese and heavy on calories. A light creamy pasta like this warm Ricotta Pasta Salad is a good alternative.
This pasta salad might not have the creamy sauce or a heavy, cheesy dressing. But the ricotta is enough to feel that creamy taste when you have it. The charred peppers and cherry tomatoes give a nice smokey flavor.
Another best thing about this dish is serving this salad both warm or at room temperature. So it is perfect for a summer salad too. You need less than 30 minutes to make this salad, so easy to make on busy working days.
This salad is a favorite. I kept it vegetarian for meatless days, but you can add roasted chicken.
Try this Couscous Salad with Orange Vinaigrette if you like a fruity salad.
- Penne pasta - I have used penne here, but you may use other short-sized pasta since this is a salad, and you should have other ingredients along with pasta in a mouthful.
- Extra-virgin olive oil - a good quality olive oil makes a huge difference since there is no cooking in this salad recipe. You can taste the complex flavors of olive oil in each bite.
- Garlic - Garlic is my favorite aromatic and enhances every dish it is added to.
- Assorted pepper - The chariness of roasted pepper adds flavor and provides a crunch.
- Cherry tomatoes - Cut them into halves, and the roasted tomatoes give a tart but charred taste.
- Ricotta cheese - is a fresh, soft, moist cheese added to salads and stuffings.
- Parmesan cheese - is a hard cheese widely used for its flavor.
- Oregano - spice added for Italian flavors.
- Basil - fresh basil gives that herby taste in each bite.
- Chili flakes - a little heat to balance the tartness and sweetness of the other ingredients.
- Salt & pepper - use as per taste.
How to make pasta salad with ricotta
Cook pasta al-dente - Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. Follow the instructions in the packet for time and heat.
Saute the veggies - On a hot pan, heat oil and add minced garlic. Saute until it loses its raw smell. Saute assorted bell peppers until they look charred but are still crunchy. Add green peas and saute for another minute. Remove the sauteed veggies and keep them aside.
Stir fry cherry tomatoes - Add cherry tomatoes to the pan and stir-fry on high heat for a couple of minutes. The skin on the tomatoes should look charred but look firm. Do not overcook it and make it mushy.
Assemble in a bowl - In a big mixing bowl, assemble all the ingredients, including parmesan cheese and herbs—season with salt and pepper. Toss everything well.
This Salad stays well in the refrigerator, so perfect for your lunch box/meal prep. It is best kept in an air-tight container or wrap it tightly for up to three days in the refrigerator. This does not freeze well.
You can be a bit smart while storing it. You can assemble and store everything separately but do not drizzle the olive oil yet. The pasta will get soggy in the refrigerator. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, and toss everything well before serving.
What to serve with
Fresh ricotta pasta salad is made of fresh and rich ingredients and can be a light meal. It is delicious and versatile to be a good side dish, and you can pair it with:
- Roasted/grilled Chicken - Grilled Rosemary Chicken Kebabs, Easy Grilled Chicken, and Roasted Harissa Chicken are delicious chicken mains from the grills or oven. Even Tandoori Chicken with spices would work great.
- Meat dishes - Pan-Seared Lamb Chop Recipe, Skillet pork chops, and Chili Garlic Shrimp are some sumptuous meats and seafood to pair with salads.
- Air fried - Salmon, Chicken & Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli, and Chicken Wings (3 Ways) are quick and easy mains done in an air fryer.
- Roasted veggies - Roasted Lemon Pepper Zucchini and Pecan Honey Roasted Carrot will complement the cheesy salad.
- Garlic bread - toasted bread with butter or garlic bread works with most salads.
Related salad pasta recipes
Cold Tuna Pasta Salad - an easy summer salad that is healthy with the goodness of tuna, macaroni, olive oil, and veggies.
Roasted Corn Pasta Salad - charred sweet corn and pasta tossed in a mayo-based dressing.
Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad - a summer meal with tuna, egg, macaroni, and peas tossed in a combo of mayo and greek yogurt dressing.
Chicken Pasta Salad With Lemon-Herb Dressing - a delicious pasta salad with Grilled chicken, pasta, and veggies tossed in a refreshing Lemon-Herb Dressing.
Pesto Pasta Salad - a summer pasta salad made with pesto sauce with intense flavors and vibrant colors from cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves, nuts, and cheese.
Warm Ricotta Pasta Salad
- 1 pan For sauteeing the bell pepper and veggies
- 1 Pot To cook the pasta in salted boiling water
- 1 Mixing bowl to assemble and toss the ingredients for pasta salad
- 2 Cups penne pasta uncooked
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup assorted pepper (I used red, green, and yellow)
- 200 grams cherry tomato cut into halves
- 1 cup fresh green peas blanched
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- salt and pepper as per taste
- Cook pasta as per packet instructions. Keep aside. Chop and keep ready the other veggies and blanch the green peas.
- In a pan, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add minced garlic.
- Add assorted bell pepper. Stir fry on high heat for 1-2 minutes. The peppers should look charred but still crunchy. Don't overcook. Add green peas. Stir fry for another 1 minute on high heat. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
- In the same pan add the remaining oil. Add halved cherry tomatoes. Stir fry on high heat for 1-2 minutes. The tomato skin should look charred, but again don't overcook it till mushy.
- In a big mixing bowl, add the cooked pasta, bell pepper, peas, tomato, ricotta, parmesan cheese, and all the herbs. Drizzle olive oil over them and toss. Season it with salt and pepper. Mix everything well.
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