Pappardelle with Citrus Ricotta Cream


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Pappardelle with Citrus Ricotta Cream highlights the harmony between decadent and delicate flavors. Refreshing citrus zest bursts through the rich ricotta, making this an ideal dish to ring in Spring.

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My incredibility thoughtful husband recently surprised me with the food photography book “Plate to Pixel” (click here). Although my obsession for cooking and noshing on appealing fare is innate, my photography skills are not. As a new food blogger,  I recognize that cooking delicious food is not enough. After reading a few chapters from my new book, I learned that the goal of natural food styling is to appeal to you, my reader, in a way that makes you WANT to banquet at my table. It is my personal aspiration that the passion and love I put into my food is translated through the digital dimension.

This recipe serves as the beginning of my food photography journey, where I no longer depend on an iPhone to capture my cuisine.

Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes

I thought you may like a behind the scenes glimpse of my photography set up. “Plate to Pixel” discusses the importance of utilizing natural light when taking food photos. Our office has three windows with fair colored walls that reflect the light splendidly. As you can see, I am using an ironing board, covered in a white shade (from the window), as my food stand. The background happens to be a large blank canvas that my husband built with the intention of painting a mural. This particular day was overcast outside, which the author, Helene Dujardin, said is perfect weather for taking pictures! Score.

See the Autism Awareness painting on the window sill? That was made by one of my students. This piece, along with others, was part of an Autism Awareness Art Auction that I organized for my students and the community. We raised over $700.00 and the proceeds went to a local business that supports students of all abilities. I just had to buy this one.

Ingredients for Pappardelle with Citrus Ricotta Cream
Ingredients for Pappardelle with Citrus Ricotta Cream

This is the shot taken from the Behind the Scenes photo. You know, the one with the ironing board. Anyways, my new best friend Helene, the author of “Plate to Pixel”, enlightened me on basic camera settings like Aperture. In this photo shoot I played around with the different degrees of aperture until I found the desired look.

Zest the Lemon
Zest the Lemon
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Extract Juice from Lemon and Orange

The focal point of this dish is citrus flavors from both lemon and orange. Therefore, highlighting their simplicity was my objective for these photos.

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Ingredients

2-3 nests of pappardelle pasta

2 tsp. lemon rind

2 tbsp. juice from orange

2 tbsp. juice from lemon

1/4 c. heavy whipping cream

1/2 c. fat free ricotta cheese

1/4 c. chives (sliced)

1/4 c. fresh grana padano cheese (grated)

salt and pepper

Serves 2

Blend Ricotta Mixture
Blend Ricotta Mixture
  • Boil water and cook pasta
  • Drain pasta, reserving water in a bowl
  • Pour 6 tbsp. of reserved water, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange juice, heavy cream and ricotta in a pan
  • Blend with immersion blender until smooth (see above)
  • Warm mixture over medium heat
  • Add pasta and chives
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add 1/2 c. reserved pasta water and stir until sauce is creamy
  • Add freshly grated cheese

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Top pasta with additional chives, lemon rind, grana padano and pepper.

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Dig in my friends! This recipe is a quick and easy weeknight meal that is light yet comforting.

*Recipe was modified from Cooking Light 2015*
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Author: A Common Connoisseur

My name is Maria! I'm a vibrant Italian American with a zest for life. I am also a major glutton. Join me on my journey to diverse restaurants and in my kitchen, as I eat and cook my way through flavory fare. I am no expert, which is why I am merely a Common Connoisseur.

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