When people think "Giada" they think "pasta." After all, her previous cookbook, Everyday Pasta, was entirely dedicated to the subject. At a time when most of America was quaking in the wake of carbs, Giada taught us that they were okay when enjoyed in moderation. More over, she created a host of recipes for light, healthful starch-based dishes that utilize nutritious ingredients such as fresh vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole wheat pasta.
Today's recipe, excerpted from Giada's Kitchen, is for Whole-Wheat Linguine with Green Beans, Ricotta, and Lemon. The sauce tastes incredibly rich, but it's actually a low-cal combination of part-skim ricotta and pasta water. Combined with snappy green beans and sweet cherry tomatoes, this dish makes for a lovely, colorful meal. Don't skimp on the lemon zest—it brightens the flavors and adds a citrusy aroma to the final dish.
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- 1 pound whole-wheat linguine
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound French green beans (haricot verts), trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- Zest of 1 lemon
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the hot pasta to a large heat-proof bowl and add the ricotta. Toss to combine.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the green beans, garlic, salt, and pepper and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the reserved pasta cooking liquid and continue cooking until the beans are tender, about 4 more minutes. Add the ricotta-coated pasta to the pan with the green beans and toss to combine. Add the tomatoes and toss gently. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the lemon zest. Serve.