Easy Walnut Ricotta Penne Pasta

July 17, 2014

When you get into one of those moods where you think there is nothing to eat for dinner, think again.  If there is pasta in the house, there is a meal waiting to be created.  Pasta is the chief ingredient when it comes to quick cooking.  You can literally pair just about anything with pasta and it will taste good.  In other words, pasta dishes are a good way to clean out your pantry and prepare something wonderful in the process.

Walnut ricotta penne pasta is a 30 minute meal that the whole family will love.  Whole wheat penne pasta is tossed in a ricotta cheese sauce flavored with onion, buttery walnuts, fresh tomatoes and fresh lettuce.  This one pot meal works great as a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Walnut and Ricotta Penne
Recipe Courtesy of De Cecco

Ingredients:

1 pound De Cecco Whole Wheat Penne Rigate
2 tablespoons De Cecco Extra Virgin Olive Oil 100% Italian Olives
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 cups packed red leaf lettuce or spring greens mix, chopped (3 ounces)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup part-skim or whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until translucent, stirring frequently. Add lettuce and walnuts; cook 1 minute or until lettuce begins to wilt, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add ricotta cheese; stir until well blended. Add hot cooked pasta, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese; toss. Add reserved pasta water as needed to reach desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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