Rigatoni with Herbed Ricotta and Green Veggies is a great quick weeknight dinner that’s healthy and tasty.
Toasting the pasta in the oven brings out a nutty flavor. Then, the pasta’s cooked in spicy vegetable broth, giving the dish even more flavor. The creamy ricotta helps to balance the spicy cayenne pepper. And, the veggies add a nice crunch to the dinner.
I also think that this dinner would be great with a handful of fresh spinach tossed in. Or, try adding ½ cup steamed broccoli florets or some chopped artichoke hearts. I like the way the green veggies complement the green tint of the herbed ricotta. But, you could change-up the colors of the veggies too.
I was kind of vague in the recipe about how many green beans to use. That’s because I love green beans, and I think they could be added by even more than I have here. But, to be specific, I used 7 green beans in this dish.
My husband isn’t a huge fan of the green bean. (He says that it’s squeaky when you eat it). So, I’m pretty careful about how many green beans I can sneak into a dish.
And, for dessert, we had a small dish of mint chocolate chip ice cream. It was truly a green evening. 🙂
Rigatoni with Herbed Ricotta and Green Veggies Recipe
Rigatoni with Herbed Ricotta and Green Veggies
- 8 ounces rigatoni
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup water
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 green onions chopped, divided use
- 1 medium zucchini cut into chunks
- small handful green beans chopped into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup frozen green peas
- 1/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves removed from stem
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Place pasta in cast iron skillet or a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden, shaking pan once or twice to brown evenly.
- Bring vegetable broth, water, and cayenne pepper to a boil in large pot. Add pasta and cook 13-16 minutes until pasta is al dente. Check on pasta throughout cooking, and if the liquid is evaporating too much, add more water, about ¼ cup at a time.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, and add white parts of green onions, zucchini, and green beans. Cook veggies until they begin to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add frozen peas to saucepan with veggies, and cook until peas have heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and place veggies in a clean bowl. Set aside.
- Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, and reserve 1 cup cooking liquid.
- Combine ½ cup of reserved hot cooking liquid, ricotta cheese, green parts of green onions, salt, basil, and thyme leaves in a blender, and process until well blended.
- Combine hot pasta, cheese mixture, and veggies in a large bowl; toss gently to coat. Add additional cooking liquid to moisten, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.