Ziti with Ricotta and Vegetables
- 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
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.