Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Penne with Ricotta and Pine Nuts

Penne with Ricotta and Pine Nuts (Adapted from Everyday Food)

16 ounces dry whole-wheat penne pasta
1 1/2 pounds baby spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons prepared pesto
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

In a large pot of boiling salted water, add pasta and cook according to package directions. During the last two minutes of the pasta cooking time, stir in spinach. When done, drain and place back into the pot off heat.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat oil over medium-low. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in pesto and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Pour into the pasta mixture - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, tossing well to coat.

In a small bowl, add ricotta - season with crushed red pepper and salt, stirring to combine. Portion out pasta mixture and drop a dollop of the ricotta mixture on top of each serving. Scatter each with the shredded cheese and the toasted nuts.

Makes about 6 servings.

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