Ziti with Ricotta and Vegetables


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Try this low-fat pasta dish next time for dinner. The ziti pasta mixed with low-fat ricotta cheese and fresh veggies will make anyone smile.

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  • 8 oz. dried ziti or penne pasta
  • 2-1/2 C. broccoli florets
  • 1-1/2 C. asparagus or green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 C. light ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 C. snipped fresh basil or 1 Tbs. dried basil, crushed
  • 4 tsp. snipped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
  • 4 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan or Romano

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Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting any oil or salt and adding broccoli and asparagus or green beans the last 3 minutes of cooking; drain. Meanwhile, place a fine strainer over a large bowl. Cut tomatoes in half; squeeze seeds and juice into strainer. With the back of a spoon, press on seeds to extract juice; discard seeds, reserving tomatoes. Add ricotta cheese, basil, thyme, vinegar, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to tomato juice in bowl; mix well. Chop reserved tomatoes; stir into ricotta mixture. Add hot cooked pasta and vegetables to ricotta mixture. Toss to combine. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese; serve immediately.

Yield: 4 Servings.

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