Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pasta with green beans and ricotta

If you're looking for a lighter, fresher, healthier alternative to a cream sauce pasta, look no further. Giada works her magic again, with this super-easy, super-fast, ricotta cheese with green beans and tomatoes recipe. The recipe actually calls for linguine, which I feel would work a lot better than the angel hair capellini I used (only box I had in the pantry). Linguine is much thicker and I found the angel hair kind of decapitated under the weight of the vegetables. 

What you'll need:

1 pound whole wheat linguine (or spaghetti or angel hair if that's all you have)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and halfed lengthwise
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 lemon, zested

What to do:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally about 8-10 minutes.
2. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the hot pasta to a large bowl and add the ricotta cheese. Toss to combine.
3. Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet (which I don't have so instead used a large frying pan), warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the green beans, garlic, salt, and pepper and saute for 4 minutes.
Trim the beans and half them lengthwise
4. Add 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and continue cooking until tender, about 4 more minutes. 
5. Add the pasta with ricotta to the pan with the green beans and toss to combine. 
6. Add the tomatoes and gently toss. Cook on medium for about 4 minutes.

7. Transfer to a serving plate, and top with lemon zest. Serve.
The ricotta is a a great substitute for any traditional cream sauces - less prep time, less calories, and less of that 'I-feel-so-sick-and-full' feeling post dinner. I'm going to put the rest in the fridge with a sprinkle of olive oil and take it for lunch tomorrow. Who doesn't love pasta leftovers?

Happy Thursday!


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