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This recipe is from the Reader's Digest, Magic foods for better blood sugar book. I don't eat a lot of pasta because let's face it, it's just not that healthy, or low fat. But there are times where I crave pasta and am always looking for a healthy, fast and tasty version to have on hand. This serves nice with a side salad and a piece of low glycemic bread such as pumpernickel or sourdough. Instead of butter, a low fat ricotta mixed with a tsp of olive oil and some chili flakes is a nice low glycemic spread. There is also a variation here for Penne with Spinach, Ricotta and Lemon, however I have not tried this variation.
- 1⁄2 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups whole wheat penne (or spelt)
- 1 lb asparagus, stem ends snapped off, cut into 11/2 inch lengths (2 cups)
- Bring a large pot of light salted water to a boil for cooking the penne.
- Stir together the ricotta, 1/4 cup of the parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.
- Add the penne to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until the penne is al dente (Do not overcook penne) and the asparagus is tender, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and asparagus and place in a large bowl.
- Add 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water to the ricotta mixture, whisking until smooth. Toss the pasta with the ricotta sauce.
- Pass the remaining parmesan separately.
- One serving is 11/2 cups.
- VARIATION: Penne with Spinach, Ricotta, and Lemon.
- In step 3 omit the asparagus; cook the penne for 8 to10 minutes. While the penne is cooking, cook one 10 ounce (300-gram) package of frozen spinach according to package directions. In step 4 Toss the penne with the ricotta sauce and spinach.