Think Spring Spaghetti

Think Spring Spaghetti

By Brian Higginson, RD, CD
Clinical Nutrition Specialist

Primavera perfection! Here’s a pasta that will gladden your heart with 100% of your daily dose of manganese and selenium. Sweet cherry tomatoes, aromatic basil and delicate asparagus adorn healthful whole wheat pasta. Low in fat and calories, so mangia! Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces whole wheat spaghetti (or other pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound fresh asparagus spears, cut into 1" slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (may substitute sun dried tomatoes)
  • 12 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 8 curls of Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • Red chili pepper flakes to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in large skillet. Add asparagus, garlic and pepper. Sauté 4 minutes. Add ¼ cup water or vegetable stock and simmer until tender (about 4 more minutes).
  3. Drain pasta, return to pot, and immediately stir in ricotta cheese until melted.
  4. Add tomatoes and asparagus mixture to pasta. Gently toss.
  5. Top with basil, lemon zest and cheese. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 404 calories, 19 gm protein, 70 gm carbohydrate, 8 gm fat, 3 gm sat fat, 4 gm mono fat, 12 mg cholesterol, 2 gm fiber, 107 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK If you like some heat, feel free to add some red chili pepper flakes. Start with 1/8 teaspoon and add more as desired. Substitute any green vegetable for the asparagus depending what’s on hand. A vegetable peeler is a great tool for creating slivers of cheese.

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