Ricotta & Parmesan Pasta Salad

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes


  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 16 ounces small shell pasta, uncooked
  • 15 ounces ricotta
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 18 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • ⅔ cup parmesan, grated


  1. Cut approximately ½ inch off the top of the head of garlic.
  2. Place the bulb in a small bowl and drizzle the olive oil over the exposed cloves.
  3. Cover the bowl with an upside down plate. Microwave on high in 1 minute increments until the garlic is soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the plate and remove from the microwave using oven mitts. Set aside and let cool.
  5. While the garlic is cooling, fill the pasta cooker to the MAX line with water. Set for the Medium Pasta setting and allow to reach a boil.
  6. Add the noodles and let cook for 7-10 minutes until al dente.
  7. While the pasta is cooking, squeeze the garlic cloves from the head and mince well.
  8. Add the minced garlic to a medium bowl along with the ricotta cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  9. When the pasta is done, turn the cooker off. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water, then use the lid to drain the pasta while keeping it in the pot. Return the pot to the cooker.
  10. Add the reserved pasta water to the ricotta cheese mixture. Stir until it forms a smooth sauce.
  11. Pour the sauce over the pasta in the pot. Stir until well combined.
  12. Add in the sliced cherry tomatoes and the spinach, then the parmesan cheese.
  13. Stir everything until the ingredients are well combined and the spinach is slightly wilted. Serve hot.Recipe inspiration from Budget Bytes.