Monday, March 12, 2012

Ziti with Ricotta and Vegetables

I have been slacking on the meatless, seafoodless recipes for you all this last week. To make up for it, I'll have one every day up through Thursday to give you several options for this week. Promise :)

We'll start off the week with a short and sweet pasta meal. More pasta, I know, but hear me out. This one is much simpler than the previous lasagna recipe I posted! This recipe comes from my mother-in-law back from my bridal shower. Not sure what took me so long to make it knowing that pasta + balsamic vinegar + ricotta cheese + veggies = a winner in this house?!?
On a side note, can I just say that I am so glad that asparagus is coming back in season! I never had asparagus until I was an adult, and it ranks up there with my favorite vegetables (since it actually qualifies as a vegetable --- no seeds!) 

(Printable Recipe)

Ziti with Ricotta and Vegetables
From Londa 

8 oz. dried whole wheat penne (or any shape) pasta
2-1/2 cups broccoli florets
1-1/2 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large ripe tomatoes, juiced and chopped
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp. dried, crushed basil
1 tsp. dried crushed thyme
4 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Add the broccoli and asparagus in the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain.

Place a fine-meshed strainer over a large bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze over the strainer to release the juice and seeds. Press down on the seeds in the strainer to get all the liquid you can. Chop and reserve the tomato flesh. Discard the seeds.

Add ricotta cheese, spices, vinegar, and oil to the tomato juice in the bowl and mix until well combined. Stir in the tomatoes. Add pasta and toss to combine. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.


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