Brown butter lemon-scented shells with beets and whipped ricotta is the perfect quick and easy weeknight dinner recipe. Dry pasta shells and beets collide in a pool of brown butter and lemon zest. They are served with a dollop of perfectly creamy whipped ricotta that has also been scented with lemon zest. This dish is fresh-tasting, yet warming and with it’s bright color, is perfect for the spring months ahead!
Do you guys ever have to pick and choose your battles when it comes to what you serve for dinner? I mean I don’t have any kids. I have a Zach and a Cilantro. While I’m super proud of our itty bitty family, Zach can be pretty difficult to please when it comes to what I put on the dinner table. Don’t get me wrong, he’s really getting better, but he can be so picky sometimes. It drives me nuts!
We’ve been down this road before. I’m sure I’ve explained to you guys time and time again how much Zach despises lemon. It goes even beyond despise. I’m convinced he makes himself sick just thinking about lemon. This is so strange since Zach comes from a long line of Greek ancestors, yet he can’t stand the taste of lemon.
The problem with all of this is that I love lemon. It’s one of my favorite flavors. It also has an extremely high amount of health benefits. So, when I made this dish, I made myself the lemon version and made a separate, less-lemony version for Zach.
This brown butter lemon-scented shells and beets dish is one of my favorite spring dishes. The color alone just screams “spring” doesn’t it?! It’s so bright and vibrant and combines all of my favorite flavors.
I hope you guys get the spring-like vibes from this dish. Pair it with a farmhouse ale. A farmhouse ale will really highlight the freshness! Enjoy!
3 medium golden beets, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 pound dry pasta shells
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Serve with protein of choice (I served with chicken breast)
In the bowl of your stand mixer with whisk attachment fixed, add the ricotta cheese and milk. Mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Remove from the bowl from the stand mixer and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Fold in 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.
Bring to large pots of water to a boil. Salt both pots, and add the beets to one pot and the pasta to another. Boil the beets for about 8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and set aside. Boil the pasta for 8-10 minutes or until cooked to al dente. Drain and set aside.
While the beets and pasta are boiling, add the butter to a large skillet and heat over medium-low heat. Melt the butter and continue to cook, swirling it frequently, until brown bits begin to form on the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from heat immediately when you see it start to brown. To the pan with the brown butter, add the pasta, beets, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and salt and black pepper to taste. Toss to coat.
Serve the pasta with a dollop of whipped ricotta and protein of choice if you are using. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy immediately!