Here's a quick and easy dish that will satisfy any craving for a decadent and creamy pasta. You will not even realize it is low in fat with its smooth texture and rich taste. The low-fat ricotta cheese replaces the high-fat cream found in similar creamy white pasta dishes, while the spinach and basil bring color and freshness to the bowl.
This dish takes very little time to cook. While the water for the pasta is coming to a boil, you can chop the onion and spinach; once the pasta is cooking, you can go ahead and prepare the creamy sauce. Serve this delicious spinach and ricotta pasta with a slice of whole-grain bread or a green salad drizzled with your favorite low-fat dressing.
For people on gluten-free diets, simply replace regular pasta with your favorite gluten-free pasta. My husband likes Tinkyada brand pasta, which holds its texture.
- 12 oz. elbow macaroni (or penne or shell pasta)
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 10 oz. baby spinach (roughly chopped)
- 1 oz. fresh basil (chopped)
- 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup nonfat milk
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil over medium heat; add onions and garlic and saute until onions are soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't brown.
- Add spinach and basil to the skillet, and stir until wilted. Then add ricotta cheese and milk to skillet and stir well.
- Drain pasta, reserving a 1/4 cup or so of cooking water. Combine cooked pasta and ricotta mixture in a large bowl. If it is too thick, add a bit of the cooking water to the mixture.
- Serve immediately with some freshly ground black pepper.
Per Serving: Calories 296, Calories from Fat 52, Total Fat 5.9g (sat 2.3g), Cholesterol 13mg, Sodium 97mg, Carbohydrate 47.2g, Fiber 3.1g, Protein 13.8g