Veggie Ricotta Pasta

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It’s hard to believe it has been nearly two months since I’ve adopted Meatless Monday into my diet!  It’s a small goal, but I’m definitely proud that I’ve stuck with it.  I haven’t noticed a huge change in my grocery bill or how I’ve been feeling, but my life has been a whirlwind these past two months so it’s been hard to try to measure (especially during the holiday season).

I typically have chicken or fish in all my dinner meals, so it has definitely been a change.  Mainly because these recipes yield enough to carry me through the week with leftovers for lunch or dinner.  I can say that I’ve experienced less food waste since I’ve adopted Meatless Monday, so that’s always a win!  Between shakes, snacking, and side dishes, I usually get in all my required fruits and veggies.  The Meatless Monday recipes I’ve tried out have definitely helped to increase that though!  Always a win as a nutrition major.

If you follow my Instagram (*insert shameless follow me at lovesaraxo here*) I’m sure you’ve seen my various styles of lasagna roll ups.  They’re a huge hit among my friends at our family dinners, and with good reason.  While I love them, they can be a little time consuming.  Although they’re a lighter choice for pasta, they’re still pretty heavy (I mean, what pasta isn’t?).  So while I was craving them last week, I just didn’t have the time (or resources in my cabinet) to make it happen.  But why limit the tasty ingredients to a lasagna?  And that’s when this veggie ricotta pasta was born!  Quick, easy, not anywhere near as heavy, meatless, and yet still full of flavor.  YUM.

imageYou’ll need: 8 ounces of farfalle pasta, 2 tbsp EVOO (plus more to taste), 3 cloves garlic, Ricotta to taste, 1 pound kale, 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, basil to taste, ½ cup parmesan cheese.

Cook desired pasta in medium saucepan, following directions on box.  I used farfalle pasta because it is one of my favorites and I had it on hand. While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tbsp EVOO in skillet over medium heat.  Add minced garlic and reduce heat.  Cook for 5 minutes.

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Kale is “super trendy” right now, but for good reason.  Some may not like kale because it has a very strong taste.  However, I like to use this to my benefit.  A common compliant with spinach is that when cooked, you don’t even have half the amount as when you started.  Since kale has a stronger taste than spinach, it doesn’t reduce in size as badly as spinach does.  Luckily, kale can easily replace spinach in nearly every recipe!

Before I left to go home for Thanksgiving, I did some meal prep with the leftover produce in my fridge and froze it all.  If you want to freeze produce, you usually have to blanch it all first, which can be a little intimidating if you’ve never done it before… but no worries, there’s a loophole!  If you plan on using the produce within the next month of the date you freeze it, then you don’t have to blanch!  Blanching just helps to slow down the enzymes that cause foods to go bad in the freezer.  No need to worry about these enzymes if you’ll be enjoying the food within the next 30 days!

I removed my kale, still frozen, from the bag, chopped it, and threw it in the skillet.  If you’re using kale you’ve bought fresh, all you need to do is remove the hard stem running down the middle. Just fold the kale on top of itself, slice away the stem and discard!  So simple!

Add your chopped kale and sliced tomatoes to skillet.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.

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Add in cooked, drained pasta.  Season with basil as desired.  Add in ½ cup parmesan.  Drizzle with EVOO as desired.  Toss to combine.  Transfer serving size to bowl and add dollops of ricotta throughout.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

I recommend not adding the ricotta straight to the skillet incase you want to store the pasta.  I’m not sure how the ricotta would keep.  Also, everyone is different and may want different amounts of ricotta.

Veggie Ricotta Pasta
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. farfalle pasta
  • 2 tbsp EVOO, plus more as desired
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ~1 cup ricotta cheese, as desired
  • Two handfuls of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound kale, chopped
  • Basil to taste
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta following directions on box.
  2. While pasta cooks, heat EVOO over medium heat. Add minced garlic, reducing the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add kale and cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add pasta to kale mixture with ½ cup parmesan cheese. Drizzle with EVOO. Toss to combine. Serve in bowls and add dollops of ricotta cheese, as desired.
  4. Enjoy!

 

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