Penne with Zucchini and Ricotta

Meatless Monday 11! This pasta recipe uses ricotta as a base for the sauce, which lowers the fat and increases the protein when compared to cream sauces. This is a great alternative to the classic Alfredo.

The Recipe:
1 tbsp. olive oil
Pinch chili flakes
2 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 pound penne
1/3 cup ricotta (fresh would be best)
1/4 cup grated parmesan (or cheese of your choice)

1. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and the chili flakes. Let sizzle for a few seconds. Add the chopped onion and the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini are tender.

2. In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the penne according to instructions for al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. (You probably won’t use it all.)

3. Toss penne in the skillet with the zucchini, lowering the heat to a simmer. Add the ricotta and a bit of the water at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

4. Sprinkle with the parmesan and serve immediately.

Penne with Zucchini and Ricotta

My Experience:

Meh. I found it a little bland with only the ricotta for a sauce but Sam liked his (I added chili pepper flakes to his). That’s the thing with ricotta, it doesn’t have much of a taste on its own. Although the olive oil was infused with a pinch of chili pepper flakes (I really only put a little since I don’t like spicy), a little extra seemed to make it more flavourful if you like spicier. You could probably add some herbs as well, such as parsley, cilantro or chives. I just stuck with the recipe as is though.

You can obviously replace the penne with another pasta. You could probably replace the zucchini, maybe broccoli? Not sure what other cheese you would use as suggested in the recipe. I love Parmesan and always have some so I used that.

Not too many dishes to clean which is nice too since there was only the pot from the pasta and the skillet/lid for the rest.

Not my favorite Meatless Monday but still all in all successful.

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