Carbs, and pasta, are staples of an athlete’s diet. Mine, at least. However, for as long a I can remember I’ve had an aversion to cream sauces. Give me tomato with veggies any day, but alfredo is just too heavy and fattening for my taste.
Enter ricotta cheese.
Low-fat ricotta solves the whole problem of the unhealthy fat and calories in cheesy sauces but provides similar flavor and consistency. Here’s Spinach, Tomato and Herb Pasta with Ricotta, loosely adapted from Cooking Light:
- 1 pkg fresh linguine, preferably an herb variety (I used garlic and parsley)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1/2 bag fresh spinach
- 1/3 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 3 T chopped fresh chives (add other herbs if you’d like)
- Olive oil and kosher salt
Add 2 t olive oil to saute pan and cook tomatoes and spinach. Season with salt.
Cook pasta according to package directions — if fresh, this will take 2-3 minutes.
Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid and add to ricotta in a food processor. Process until smooth and then combine pasta, ricotta, veggies/herbs and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper.
You can add other veggies, other herbs and even garlic to the mix depending on what flavors you like. Toasted pine nuts also would make a good addition.
Improvise and enjoy!