Ziti with Ricotta and Vegetables
  • 8 ounces dried ziti or penne pasta
  • 2-1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1-1/2 cups asparagus or green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cup light ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
  • 4 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  1. Directions
  2. 1. 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.
  3. 2. 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.
  4. 3. 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. Makes 4 main-dish servings.