Pasta with Creamy Arugula Sauce
If you use Fiber Gourmet Light pasta to make this meatless Pasta with Creamy Arugula Sauce it’s not too much of a splurge on carbs! And see tips in the post if you want to make a version of this dish that’s even lower in carbs.
For a long time I never thought of pasta as being a summer dish, except for pasta salads. Then I discovered the idea of no-cook pasta sauce, where a mixture of summer vegetables and fresh herbs are combined with freshly cooked pasta for a delightful dish that’s eaten barely warm.
And then I tried this recipe for Pasta with Creamy Arugula Sauce that combines barely-cooked arugula and basil, Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil. And wow, was it ever delicious! I made this often back in the days when I ate pasta more often and had a huge amount of fresh basil in my garden, and if you like the strong flavors of arugula and basil, this is a perfect summer pasta recipe.
And recently I started growing herbs on my patio at the new condo, and got inspired to try making this with the Fiber Gourmet Light Penne (affiliate link) that I’ve been loving so much. That was completely a winner, and using the Fiber Gourmet high-fiber pasta made this into a dish with only 16.7 net carbs per serving. See more tips below if you’d like to make a version with even fewer carbs!
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Fiber Gourmet Light Penne (affiliate link), or other pasta of your choice
- Ricotta cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- extra virgin Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- lemon zest (probably optional, but it brightens up the flavor)
- lemon juice
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- baby arugula, coarsely chopped
- chopped fresh basil (see notes for other options)
What if you don’t have fresh basil?
This recipe calls for a generous amount of fresh basil. If you don’t have that much basil you can use less basil and add a few tablespoons of basil pesto to punch up the basil flavor. I think the recipe could also be pretty good with about 1/2 cup of basil pesto completely replacing the fresh basil if you don’t want to buy basil, but of course fresh basil will definitely be better.
How can you make Pasta with Creamy Arugula Sauce lower in carbs?
- If you make this recipe with Fiber Gourmet Light Penne (affiliate link) it will be much lower in net carbs than other types of penne, only 16.7 net carbs per serving.
- You could make the recipe with Palmini Low-Carb Linguini (affiliate link) if you like the hearts of palm pasta. I would cut the Palmini Linguini into shorter lengths, cook about 5 minutes in salted boiling water, and then drain and use in the recipe.
- If you double or triple the amount of greens but still use the 8 oz. package of Fiber Gourmet Elbows to make this recipe stretch to 8 servings, that will not only reduce the amount of carbs, but will also make the Fiber Gourmet pasta less expensive per serving. You might want to add slightly more of the other sauce ingredients if you increase the amount of greens.
More about Fiber Gourmet Light Pasta:
The biggest drawback to the Fiber Gourmet Light Pasta for many people will be the price. I haven’t found it in stores near me, so I buy it at Amazon where you can buy a package of 6 boxes and get it for $6.33 per box. (affiliate link). For me it’s such a treat to have “real” pasta without so many carbs that don’t mind buying six boxes at once. And in most of the recipes where I’m using it I try to use more lower-carb ingredients and less pasta, so that reduces the carbs and makes the cost-per-serving less for the pasta.
What if you’re not a fan of Arugula?
This recipe will be a treat for people like me who enjoy the slightly spicy flavors of arugula and fresh basil. If you don’t enjoy arugula but like basil I think baby kale or baby spinach could give a good result in this recipe, although I haven’t tried making it with other types of greens.
How to Make Pasta with Creamy Arugula Sauce:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta, and cook until pasta is al dente, about 15 minutes for Fiber Gourmet pasta.
- Chop up arugula and fresh basil. (Use purchased basil pesto to replace some of the basil if you don’t have that much basil.)
- Zest the lemon (or lemons) and then squeeze the juice.
- Measure out Parmesan cheese and Ricotta cheese.
- While pasta is cooking, combine Ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl that can hold all the ingredients.
- Saute chopped arugula and basil until it’s wilted. (Then stir in basil pesto if you’re using that.)
- Combine wilted arugula and basil with the other sauce ingredients and stir together.
- When pasta is al dente, save 1/3 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain pasta into a colander.
- Combine pasta with sauce ingredients, adding pasta cooking water as needed until you get a creamy consistency. (I used the whole 1/3 cup water.)
- Serve warm or room temperature, with additional freshly grated Parmesan if desired.
- If you’re an arugula fan like me you will LOVE this creamy pasta dish!
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
This pasta recipe does have some carbs and it’s also a relatively rich dish, so I’d serve it with something light and low in carbs like Lemon Green Beans, Roasted Asparagus with Garlic, or Pan-Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest.
Want more ideas for lower-carb pasta dishes?
If you check out the Pasta Recipes on my site, there are quite a few options for lower-carb pasta dishes using Fiber Gourmet Light Pasta (affiliate link) and also lots of options for low-carb pasta dishes using Palmini Pasta (affiliate link).
- 8 oz. box Fiber Gourmet Light Penne (see notes)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 T + 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T lemon zest, or more
- 1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice, or more
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 5 oz. baby arugula, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups chopped fresh basil (see notes)
- Fill a large pot with water, salt generously, and bring the water to a boil.
- Add pasta, start timing, and cook until barely al-dente. (Check package for cooking time; Fiber Gourmet will take 10-15 minutes depending on the altitude.)
- While pasta cooks, chop the arugula and the basil. (Wash the arugula and basil and spin dry in a salad spinner if needed.)
- Zest the lemon (or lemons) and squeeze the juice.
- Measure out the Parmesan cheese and Ricotta cheese.
- In a bowl large enough to hold all the pasta and sauce, combine the Ricotta cheese, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. (I used a generous amount of pepper but not too much salt.)
- Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the arugula and chopped basil and cook until they're barely wilted, about 2 minutes. (Stir in basil pesto if using that.)
- Add the wilted arugula/basil mixture to the other sauce ingredients and stir to combine.
- When pasta is al dente, scoop out 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and set aside.
- Drain pasta into a colander placed in the sink.
- Combine the hot pasta with sauce ingredients and stir gently, adding as much of the pasta cooking water as needed to make a creamy mixture. (I used the entire 1/3 cup of pasta water.)
- Serve warm or room temperature, with extra freshly grated Parmesan to add at the table if desired.
Use any Penne Pasta you prefer if you don't want to buy Fiber Gourmet.
If you love lemon like I do, you might want to increase the amount of lemon zest and lemon juice.
If you don't have that much fresh basil you can use more arugula with some basil and some basil pesto. I also think this would still be good if you replaced the fresh basil completely with about 1/2 cup basil pesto.
Recipe adapted slightly from a recipe by Lori Longbotham for Fine Cooking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 10.8gSaturated Fat: 4.9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4.5gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 512mgCarbohydrates: 33.5gFiber: 16.8gSugar: 1.6gProtein: 15.6g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Made with Fiber Gourmet Light Penne, this Pasta with Creamy Arugula Sauce has 16.7 net carbs per serving. When it’s made with whole wheat pasta and part-skim ricotta, it wouldn’t be too bad for Phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet although the amount of Parmesan makes it a bit high in carbs for South Beach.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Pasta Recipes to find more ideas like this one.Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2011, and I made it for many years when I had arugula growing in my garden. Now I have a little basil growing on my patio and don’t eat that much pasta any more, but I loved this made with Fiber Gourmet Light Pasta. The recipe was last updated with more information in 2023.