Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Recipe: Whole-wheat Lingine with Green Beans, Lemon and Ricotta

Photo courtesy of Food Network.

I got Giada de Laurentiis's new cookbook at BMV a couple of weeks ago for the bargain basement price of $15 (normally about $40). I love her simple, homestyle Italian cooking (which is more authentic than Nigella's, and less complicated than Mario Batali's), aside from the fact that she looks like a bobble-head sometimes. This is one of her favourite quick, healthy dinners, and I decided to give it a go last night when Hayley came to stay. Our family loves pasta. In fact, it's a running joke that for the first few years of her marriage, my aunt Colleen never cooked anything but spaghetti. I'm not that drawn to pasta with tomato sauce (probably from too many years eating it as a kid), but pasta with brothy, eggy, or creamy sauces, I love. This one is creamy without being remotely heavy (and in fact doesn't involve any cream), which makes it a perfect everyday pasta. Unlike my spaghetti carbonara, which is a very special treat--and which I apparently haven't blogged the recipe for. Remind me to do that next time I make it.


  • 1 lb. whole-wheat linguine (a whole box)
  • 1/2 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Put the pasta on to boil in a pot of salted water
  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the garlic, salt, pepper, and green beans. Saute for four minutes.
  • When the pasta water comes to a boil and you've added the pasta, remove 1 cup of pasta water and add to the green beans. Simmer while the pasta is cooking until the beans are tender.
  • Put the ricotta, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl. When the pasta is cooked, reserve another cup of the water, then drain and toss with the cheese.
  • Put the pasta in the pan with the green beans, tossing to combine. If the sauce seems too thick, add more of the pasta water.
  • Gently toss in the cherry tomatoes; check for seasoning, then return to the large bowl and serve.
Me being me, I of course had to up the lemon factor by adding the juice (Giada uses only the zest), but it adds a nice zing, and why waste a lemon? It turned out to be incredibly easy, yummy, and healthy. It was a breeze to make, didn't require too much prep, and everyone (being me, Hayley and the hubby) loved it. This recipe is a keeper. It always excites me when I find a recipe that I know will get incorporated into my repertoire of go-to meals. One day, I should make a list of those: all of the recipes that I can whip up on a moment's notice without the need of consulting a cookbook. What fun!


Rhianon said...

MMMMMMM that sounds good