Pasta, Pizza, Risotto, Vegan/Vegetarian

Lime and Ricotta Courgette Pasta

Loreto April 29, 2018

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Lime and Ricotta Courgette Pasta, a quick 15-minute meal that has flavors off the charts and a look that entices you into its layers!

Song of the day: “Big League” by Tom Cochrane.

Lime and Ricotta Courgettes Pasta

Lime and Ricotta Courgette Pasta takes us on a journey of freshness meets flavors hosting beautiful bright notes of lime zest, fresh ricotta, and a wonderfully sauteed shoestring cut courgette (zucchini).



Lime is not something I use a lot of but recently it became a normal item to be seen in the crisper of our fridge. Lately, I have been watching Jamie Olivers 15-minute meals. I have to say, I love the energy he has and his way of being so into everything he does, truly inspiring. On one of his showes, he was making this amazing pasta that had me craving it so bad. A linguine with nicely cut yellow and green zucchini, a splash of e.v.o. oil,  some lovely fresh mint and lemon juice and a quick toss and in 15 minutes Jamie had a meal that was beautiful to the eye and a real appetite teaser. I knew that I had to try this recipe and that I did, three times. Once, before Nicoletta returned, another for my Mom and her friend Pina, and today, wanting to share this amazing Lime and Ricotta Courgette Pasta with you!

This recipe is a bit different than Jamie’s as we always try to use what we have if we do not have some of the ingredients needed for a recipe. It so happened that we had no lemons and only a lime in the fridge and that is how this wonderfully green full of juice and ready for use fruit came to be a regular in our fridge. I love this kind of cooking. Flying by the seat of your pants, quick thinking, meals made an easy experience. I did have to change two other ingredients, instead of fresh mint I used fresh basil, and I added ricotta. My mom and her friends had a fresh cheese making day and the end result, a massive amount of cheese products from ricotta to a more firm ‘caciottina’. One thing you have to understand about Italian moms is there is never enough and when it comes to food, the more the better.

So getting back to the recipe I am the proud recipient of lots of ricotta and not wanting it to go to waste I thought it would be a great addition to this already wonderful pasta dish.

Lime and Ricotta Courgettes Pasta

I like to have all the ingredients ready. I am somewhat of an organizational person and like to have things in order as to make jobs easier leaving time to cook in a relaxed and fun state. So gathering the ingredients we have:

  • Courgette (yellow and green zucchini)
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ricotta
  • Spaghetti
  • Fresh basil
  • Good quality e.v.o. oil
  • Grated Grana Padano
  • Some nice dried chili flakes
  • Lime
  • Fresh chopped parsley

Lime and Ricotta Courgette Pasta

I love anything matchsticked or shoestring. It looks really nice especially with a long pasta like spaghetti and I believe in my experience that it tastes so so good. I saute the courgette with some olive oil and chili flakes seasoning and tasting to get it to where it needs to be.

Lime and Ricotta Courgettes Pasta

One thing I want to reiterate is the pasta cooking time you need to back it off a bit. This pasta is finished in the pan where the zucchini or courgette has been sauteeing. I love this, as all those amazing flavors will seep into the strands of this pasta. I  take the pasta out of the boiling salted water a couple of minutes before the required cooking time. TIP: remember, before putting your pasta into the boiling water, taste the water for salt. Pasta needs that salt to enhance its flavor so this is key to bringing the flavors where they need to be.

I also want to keep a glass of the cooking water. This I add to the saute pan to keep the pasta moist and also create a light sauce with the oil, chili flakes, ricotta and of course that wonderful lime zest and lime juice. The pasta finishes cooking in the saute pan, letting all those flavors infuse into the coarseness of the pasta. You may be thinking, coarseness in pasta? Yes, good pasta feels rough if you were to run your finger along it. What this does, it allows flavors and sauce to hold and infuse more and also allows the flavor of the pasta to come through. One other thing I want to mention, do not put oil in the cooking water for the pasta what this does is coat the pasta and does not let flavors come into it and also sauces just slide off. I absolutely love that ‘al dente’ texture. A slight bite really adds to the experience, not to mention when pasta is cooked right it does not sit heavy in your stomach and you will find digesting it a very pleasant experience!

Lime and Ricotta Courgettes Pasta

Doesn’t this Lime and Ricotta Courgette Pasta dish look absolutely scrumptious? Look at those strands of courgette beautifully cut and vibrant in color. The fresh basil adds those nice sparks of vibrancy and aroma. The pasta all coated with the ricotta, shreds of lime zest and just a smidge of the sauce from the pan, while those strands of Grana Padano mysteriously have us curious and anxious to try. I always finish with some fresh chopped parsley and that fresh sweet basil that I slivered. It just adds a nice finishing touch, along with a drizzle of olive oil.

When you set these plates down at the dinner table you are going to hear a lot of encouranging moans and words that will make you feel totally accomplished and deserving! That is not all, wait till they taste it………………

lime and ricotta courgette pasta

I love the flavors of this pasta dish. The spaghetti come through with a nice wheat crunch and flavor and then the symphony begins. The lime juice and olive oil truly a wonderful match as they both come to an understanding allowing the flavors to balance and harmonize. The ricotta coming in with a fresh creaminess as those tiny morsels melt in your mouth. I love the way the chili flakes bring a bit of heat to the sweetness of the courgette, and love that the match-sticked zucchini still have a slight crunch to them. The most amazing thing is the lime zest, it comes in with such freshness and subtlety with the peppery nature of the parsley and cracked black pepper tantalizing our taste buds. The slivers of sweet basil adding a most amazing aromatic to the mix not to mention that flavor that always makes us calm and happy.

This Lime and Ricotta Courgette Pasta is truly a symphony of flavor and texture. Our North-American lifestyle is fast and hectic and what I mostly hear from people is “I don’t have time to cook” and they resort to pre-packaged, pre-cooked meals. I say hogwash and challenge you to try this recipe. If you are organized, you can have what I believe to be a gourmet and most delicious scrumptious dish in fifteen minutes. I really encourage you to give it a try, don’t let a hectic life keep you from eating good and wholesome food. I know it is possible because we do it every day and our lives are pretty busy! Most of all have fun in the kitchen, Nicoletta and I joke, laugh, kiss, hug. Beautiful energy to be putting into the food you prepare!


Song of the day: “Big League” by Tom Cochrane.

Lime and Ricotta Courgettes Pasta

Lime and Ricotta Courgette Pasta

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Pasta, Vegetarian
  • Method: Sauteing
  • Cuisine: Italian Fusion


Lime and Ricotta Courgette Pasta takes us on a journey of freshness meets flavors hosting beautiful bright notes of lime zest, fresh ricotta, and a wonderfully sauteed shoestring cut courgette (zucchini).


  • 360 g Spaghetti
  • 3 Tablespoons e.v.o. oil
  • Pinch of dried chili flakes
  • 1 medium green zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow zucchini
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of one lime
  • 6 leaves fresh basil slivered
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley


  1. Place a large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. Wash and cut yellow and green zucchini in half widthwise, then in half length wise. Cut into small stands creating a shoestring or match stick shape.
  3. In a saute pan drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the e.v.o. oil. Bring to a medium to high heat. Sprinkle in chili flakes. Toss in minced garlic followed by the courgette (zucchini) strands immediately, as to not let the garlic burn.
  4. Saute for about 5 minutes seasoning with fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  5. Take off heat and set aside.
  6. While courgette are sauteing, place spaghetti into the boiling water and cook for about 8 minutes or a couple of minutes before the suggested cooking time. Put saute pan with zucchini (courgette) onto heat again, toss in spaghetti and toss well making sure to get all the oil and courgette infused into the pasta. Keep some of the pasta cooking water.
  7. Zest the lime into the pan, and also squeeze the juice in and toss again.
  8. Sprinkle in ricotta and some of the grated Grana Padano and pour in some of the pasta water, just enough to create a bit of sauce.
  9. Sprinkle in fresh basil slivers, and chopped parsley, finish with a splash of olive oil, toss and take off heat. This last phase of cooking takes about 3-4 minutes.
  10. Plate pasta and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of grated Grana Padano.
  11. Ready to serve. Enjoy!


  1. If you want to save some time you can dice or cut the courgette in half rounds.
  2. You save time by multitasking starting with the water to boil as you cut the zucchini, and also while the zucchini is sauteing you can start to cook the pasta.
  3. Another good tip is to have a kettle of water on boil and this will help speed up the process of boiling the water as you can pour the boiled water from the kettle into the pot.
  4. Make sure you have enough water in the pot and also to season it remembering to taste the water prior to putting the pasta in.
  5. The Grana Padano at the end can be shaved, this will give you a real boost in flavor.
  6. Watch the pasta cooking times and I suggest stop the cooking a couple of minutes prior to the total cooking time on the package.

Lime and Ricotta Courgettes Pasta

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  • Reply Beyond the Chicken Coop April 29, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    This does look beautiful! It won’t be long until we have lots of squash ready in the garden. I always need new recipes to use when the surplus hits. The lime in here sounds like a splash of flavor!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 30, 2018 at 2:09 am

      Hi Bergtrk, you are very fortunate to have a lot of courgette in your garden. Our growing season is starting a bit late this year due to our long winter but looking forward to see some signs of growth next month. I was really impressed at the flavor of the lime and how well it accented everything in this dish. Loved how those lime zest just creep up and revitalize the pallet. Love this dish so much have made it three time already. My mom had it and loved it, that says a lot because she is a very tough critic. Thank you for taking time to comment!
      Have a wonderful week!

  • Reply Gloria April 30, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    I have a spiralizer…and this looks like a great place to use it. Pasta done with ingredients like this is sooooo delicious. I much prefer this to a heavy meat sauce….especially in the warmer weather.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 1, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      So True Gloria these ingredients scream light, flavorful, sprung into spring pasta dish. I also prefer this to a meat sauce much easier to digest and super delicious!
      Thank you Gloria!

  • Reply Analida's Ethnic Spoon May 2, 2018 at 5:10 am

    The pasta dish looks amazing and I love the fresh cheese you are using. I love to make my own fresh ricotta at home. I need to checkout the caciottina. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 8, 2018 at 7:49 am

      Hi Analida Thank you. We are just loving the homemade ricotta, We have used two one really creamy from my god mother’s recipe, and one from a friend of my mothers which is a bit more crumbly but equally good and rich. I have to say it marries quite well with the lime zest and juice.

  • Reply Kate May 2, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Ooooh, I have never seen Jamie Oliver’s 15 min meals. I will have to check that out! ANd this recipe looks so good. I love pasta…especially simple recipes like this!

    • sugarlovespices
      Reply sugarlovespices May 7, 2018 at 9:55 am

      Hi Kate, you have to check Jamie’s show, it has inspired me in so many ways and each recipe has proven itself in ease and success along with incredible flavors. These easy meals make cooing look not so intimidating and time consuming!
      Happy Monday!

  • Reply Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health May 3, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    this is such a Summer friendly dinner…i love it.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 3, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Hi Dixya, yes I can see it now, warm sunny day in the backyard oasis listening to the sounds of waterfalls and the chirping of spring birds while dining on this fresh vibrant oh so tasty pasta, would that not be so wonderful. Thank you for the visual going to make it happen, and thank you for the comment!

  • Reply chef mimi May 5, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Such a lovely pasta dish with the courgettes! Your ricotta looks much crumblier than what I can get. Is that because it’s fresh? I’ve made fresh ricotta once and it was so good!

    • sugarlovespices
      Reply sugarlovespices May 7, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Hi Chef Mimi, yes it is a fresh ricotta and it is made with a less fat milk. We do have a recipe for a creamier ricotta too that is made with whole milk and whipping cream, but this ricotta is so tasty and fresh and blends quite well with the ingredients of this wonderful spring pasta!
      Thank you!

  • Reply Leslie Haasch May 6, 2018 at 6:35 am

    You had me at lime, because I love lime ANYTHING. But then you REALLY had me at ricotta!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 6, 2018 at 7:38 am

      Hi Leslie, so glad to know that the job that I am doing is doing its thing. I love great ingredients and I definately play with my food when it comes to creativity. I would have to say that lime really sparked the flavor of this dish and that ricotta is spot on. Pretty tough to buy ricotta when the home made is so delicious. Thank you for you lovely words.

  • Reply Michelle May 6, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    I love lime and this sounds so lovely and fresh, definitely my kind of food!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 8, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      We are so glad you liked this pasta dish, we were very pleased with the flavors and textures. Thank you for commenting!

  • Reply Anne Murphy May 6, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Fresh ricotta – what a treat! I love the shoestring vegetables with spaghetti, and everything pulled together so beautifully!

    • sugarlovespices
      Reply sugarlovespices May 7, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Thank you Anne, yes the shoestring goes quite nicely with the long golden starnds of the spaghett, and the fresh ricotta create such a nice creaminess. and helps unite all those incredible flavors together creationmg a most enjoyable pallet experience!

  • Reply Kim @ Berly's Kitchen May 6, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    This looks spectacular. Zucchini is not one of my go-to veggies, BUT you may have convinced me by mixing with pasta instead of using it as pasta. I would totally try this!

    • sugarlovespices
      Reply sugarlovespices May 7, 2018 at 10:02 am

      Hi Kim, I am so happy that we may have you changing your mind on zucchini. I love the vegetable and the combination of yello and green gives us an amazing array of flavor and texture!
      Thank you!

  • Reply Amy Treasure May 6, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Ooh this looks amazing and I bet it tastes really delicious. Some of my all time flavour combos in this dish!

  • Reply Femi. O May 6, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    I am so there with you on loving those quick, “by the seat of your pants” recipes! Some of my best recipes tend to happen that way leaving me with the dilemma of forgetting how to replicate them because I was literally preparing them on the fly! Well yours turned out absolutely lovely and I can’t wait to try it out!

    • sugarlovespices
      Reply sugarlovespices May 7, 2018 at 10:04 am

      Thank you Femi, yes I totally understand that dilema. What I do know is have my note book and pen close by so I can record all the steps and ingredients with out taking away that freedom of free styling! Thank you for checking us out.

  • Reply Amanda Mason May 6, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing! LOVE all those ingredients and I love that you are using lime! Amazing twist by using a lime! Printing this as we speak so I can make it this week!

    • sugarlovespices
      Reply sugarlovespices May 7, 2018 at 10:06 am

      Hi Amanda, yes I know lime, I have never done this before but truly happy with the outcome. Lime has a more intense citrus punch, but with the courgette and ricotta it made a wonderful statement of balance and flavor! Thank you!

  • Reply Matt Kearns May 6, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Amazing! I love how you added that ricotta cheese to this pasta dish to make it extra creamy. The flavors look simple and your photography looks great!

    • sugarlovespices
      Reply sugarlovespices May 7, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Thank you Matt, the photography I am going to pass the credit onto Nicoletta she does capture the moment quite well but I may be biased. It is nice to see some one else give props to her photos, she is truly grateful and she works so so hard. You are so right saying the flavors are simple, they are. Thank you again.
      Have a great cooking week!

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