Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pasta in a tomato-ricotta sauce

Dinner tonight was a quick, easy pasta. With some garlic bread (from that baguette!). Garlic bread still needs to be perfected, so I'm not going to go into it. We had garlic croutons. Oh well!

For 3 servings of the pasta:
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cans whole tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2-3 tbsp ricotta (i used part skim. just adds richness and creaminess without tooo many calories or too much in the way of cost)
- 6oz whole wheat pasta
- fresh grated parmesan to serve

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
2. Add the carrot, celery, and onion (this is also known as a mirepoix). Sprinkle with some salt. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook another few minutes.
3. Add 1 can of tomatoes with juices. Add the other can of tomatoes, and set the juices from that aside. Break up tomatoes with a spoon. (sometimes, i dice the tomatoes beforehand. depends on my mood and how much i'm willing to put into it)
4. Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. Another idea is to add a spoonful or two of tomato paste, but I like to let everything simmer. Also, I dont always have tomato paste on hand. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I had to add some more red pepper here.
5. When sauce is almost thick enough to enjoy, put the pasta in the (should be boiling) water. Cook for however long, until its al dente. If sauce gets too thick during this time, add some of the reserved juice from the tomatoes.
6. When pasta is done, add directly to the sauce with a slotted spoon. Add about a half cup of the pasta water also. Stirrrrr. When the sauce starts to coat the pasta well, add the ricotta. Stir to evenly distribute. Salt and pepper to taste again.
7. Serve! (optional: top with fresh grated parmesan)

Nutrition per serving: Cal=336, Fat=12.3g, SatFat=2.1g, Carbs=57.1g, Fiber=9.9g, Sugar=8.8g, Protein=11.5g

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