Broccoli-Ricotta Pasta Toss
1 12-ounce box whole wheat or whole grain penne pasta
16 ounces fresh broccoli florets
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 green onions (green tops included), thinly sliced
15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional garnishes: Shredded Parmesan cheese and toasted almonds or pine nuts
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook according to package directions. Add the broccoli florets and sliced garlic when there are 3 to 4 minutes left to the pasta cooking time. When the pasta is done, remove 1 cup of the pasta water from the pot and then drain the pasta and broccoli.
Return the drained pasta and broccoli to the pot. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss in the green onions. Stir in the ricotta cheese, lemon juice and zest and season with the salt and pepper.
Add ½ cup of the pasta water and stir until the ricotta is creamy. Add more pasta water if a creamier sauce is desired. Toss in the basil, taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Garnish each serving with some of the parmesan and toasted almonds or pine nuts, if desired.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Coming next week: Ravioli with creamed spinach sauce is a quick entrée made from ingredients from the grocer's freezer section.
Write to Karin Calloway in care of The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903, or firstname.lastname@example.org.