Maccheroni alla Ricotta {Macaroni with Ricotta}

How about a pasta dish that you can make with just THREE ingredients? How about a pasta dish you can make in under TEN minutes? Now that is my kind of math 3 ingredients plus 10 minutes ; ) I thought you might like that too!  

To me, some of the simplest pasta dishes are the best. This dish fits that bill. It combines maccheroni aka macaroni around these parts ; ) Which is any short tubular pasta shape. Ricotta, and pistachios. That’s it. Well there’s also salt, but that’s a gimme right!

I used a ziti rigati because I like the way the ricotta sauce sticks to the grooves of the pasta. Rigatoni would also do the job quite nicely. The hardest part of this recipe is going to be shelling the pistachios. And for me, trying NOT to eat them all before it’s time to use them.

I love the bite from the al dente pasta, the creamy way the ricotta cheese coats the pasta and the crunch from the pistachios that hide in the nooks and crannies. Pasta takes me to my happy place : )

You’ll want to be sure to toss the WARM pasta into the ricotta and pistachio mixture immediately. You want them to meet and greet each other quickly ; ) No small chit chat needed. Have your bowl and fork ready, this isn’t one you want to let sit around. Come and get it while it’s HOT! 


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Maccheroni alla Ricotta {Macaroni with Ricotta}
What you’ll need:
1 pound long tubular pasta – I used Ziti Rigati
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup pistachios – {shelled} roughly chopped

What to do:
1. Place a large pot generously seasoned with salt on to boil. When boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente. {reserve some of the pasta water}

2. WHILE the pasta is cooking, into a small – medium bowl add ricotta, 4-5 tablespoons of pasta water. Stir to combine. Add pistachios. Stir to combine.

3.  Drain pasta and return to pot. Place the ricotta mixture into pot with pasta. Stir to incorporate. If mixture is too thick, thin with some of the reserved pasta water. Serve immediately.

Buon Appetito!


  1. 1

    This is my kind of lunch! The photos look great–is that due to the sheets (ehem, light diffusers) and chip clips?? 😉

  2. 2

    YUM! And I have all of these ingredients at home! 🙂

    • 2.1

      Thanks Jen! I love to make this is I haven’t eaten all of the pistachios first that is ; )

  3. 3
    Lora @cakeduchess /

    I love the flavors! Gorgeous photos. I also love the simplicity of ricotta in my pasta dishes:)

  4. 4

    I love pistachios. Adding them give such a special color! Great your combination with ricotta.

  5. 5

    three ingredients!! Looks wonderful.

  6. 6

    This is my kind of meal…the ultimate comfort food! Yum!

    • 6.1

      Thanks Kate. Pasta is just perfection in a bowl to me. Absolutely comfort food.

  7. 7

    This recipe looks so simple yet delicious at the same time.
    And gorgeous pictures!

  8. 8

    Looks great! My mother used to make this for me all the time when I was little, except she used walnuts instead of pistachios.

    • 8.1

      Thanks Susan! I’ve had it with walnuts too and it’s equally tasty ; )

  9. 9

    AGREED!!!! The simplest pasta dishes are always the best! And the dishes I most crave. If I’m trying to be healthy my favorite splurge is always some form of pasta and cheese, it is simply the best. Thanks for this great idea!

  10. 10

    Pistachios are one of those things that I can never stop eating if they’re around. Seriously… if they’re around I have to tell people to take them away. I’m that obsessed.

    So this pasta dish includes some of my absolute favorite ingredients.

  11. 11

    This looks perfect. I LOVE pistachios. Great combination!

  12. 12

    Seriously simple! Now this is perfect for those days when you just don’t feel like making anything too involved for dinner.

  13. 13

    This is great…I know friends who eat ricotta on its own because they love it that much…the ricotta in this dish must make the pasta moist and creamy -perfect!

  14. 14

    This is my kind of meal! 3 ingredients in 10 minutes! Awesome, Paula! You should post more of these! I’m always looking for a quick dinner!

  15. 15

    I lovwe the pistachios in this.

  16. 16

    I agree some of the simplest pasta dishes are the best…love that you added pistachios 🙂

  17. 17

    OMG … Amazing! I am not a huge fan of pistachios, but I bet some toasted walnuts would work well also! I know what I am making this week!

  18. 18

    I love the sound of this pasta dish, I may have to make it for dinner tomorrow!
    The pistachios you use – are they raw or roasted?


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