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An overhead photo of a platter full of penne and dandelion greens.
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Penne Pasta with Dandelions

An authentic Italian pasta dish, penne pasta with dandelions, penne pasta, ricotta cheese, and dandelion leaves, all topped with shredded Parmesan cheese. So simple but so good.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Ellen


  • 1 bunch dandelion leaves (clean and no pesticides used)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  • Wash and dry the dandelion leaves, cut into 1 inch pieces.
  • Mince garlic cloves.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil (enough for your pasta), add dandelion leaves and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove leaves.
  • Add 1/2 tsp salt to water and cook penne pasta according to pkg directions minus 2 minutes.
  • Meanwhile warm olive oil in a large sauce pan, add minced garlic and boiled dandelion leaves.
  • Saute for 5 to 10 minutes while penne pasta cooks.
  • Drain pasta and add to the garlic and dandelion.
  • Add the ricotta cheese and about 1/2 to 1 cup of pasta water.
  • Stir everything together and cook until pasta is finished and ricotta is creamy coating the pasta.
  • Sprinkle in salt and pepper, add more or less to taste.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese and serve.


*I purchased my dandelion greens at a spring farmer's market, if you see them don't shy away.