Creamy One Pot Penne with Basil

Chef Robin Asbell has her own YouTube Channel and one of her videos got a lot of attention!  She’s recreating her recipe for Creamy Penne with Basil and we get an extra tip on how to freeze basil for use later.

Creamy One Pot Penne with Basil

Don’t forget to save a cup of hot pasta water to make the sauce. Break off a chunk of your frozen basil, it’s up to you how much you put in!

Serves 6, Makes about 9 cups

1 pound penne
2 cups broccoli florets
1 large carrot, chopped
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
chunk of frozen basil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions, adding the broccoli and carrots for the last 4 minutes, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

In the same pot, make the sauce: Add the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir until well combined.

Add 1/2 cup pasta water to the sauce and stir until smooth. Add the pasta and continue to stir vigorously until the noodles are well coated. Add more pasta water as needed for a smooth sauce.

Stir in the chunk of frozen basil and cover the pot so it will melt.

Serve warm.


The Best Way to Save Fresh Basil


fresh basil
extra virgin olive oil


Pick all the leaves from your basil. Place them in a food processor bowl. Process, scraping down as needed, until the basil is minced.

Drizzle in olive oil with the machine running, just until a paste is produced.

Scrape the paste into sturdy quart-sized zip-top freezer bags, and flatten into a sheet, about 1/3 inch thick. Label the bag and lay flat in the freezer until solid.

To use, break off a chunk of the paste and add to pestos, sauces, soups, or anything else that needs a little basil, and a little taste of summer!

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