I had some ricotta leftover from the orange-ricotta pancakes, and, rather than overthink it, I decided to pair it with what came naturally–pasta, of course. This type of dish pretty much exemplifies the whole cooking-from-your-pantry idea. I was low on groceries so I used dried herbs, canned tomatoes, and vermouth (you’ll remember I keep it around to use in place of dry whites because of its shelf-stability). There’s fresh spinach in this, but you can certainly use frozen instead. I don’t really recommend canned mushrooms (’cause I think they’re kinda icky) but if you like them, by all means, use those in place of fresh.
This is a nice, light pasta. The sauce isn’t heavy (or, really, very saucy at all) and the ricotta makes it just a touch creamy. It’s also quite healthy. Rather than overdo the pasta (and I use whole wheat, anyway), I’ve bulked this up with veggies and lean chicken breast. Now that I eat an actual serving size of pasta (and get full from it, too), it’s scary to think how much pasta I used to eat in one sitting.
It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a Presto Pasta Night, so I’m happy to share this recipe with Ruth, as well as Katie of Thyme for Cooking, who’s hosting this week’s PPN. This recipe is pretty “presto” with the use of things I had in the kitchen.
Farfalle with Chicken, Mushrooms, Spinach, and Ricotta
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1/2 lb. whole wheat farfalle or other pasta
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. b/s chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine (or broth)
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, partially drained but some liquid reserved
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
1.5 tsp. dried basil
1 (3 oz) package baby spinach (or a package of frozen spinach, thawed & drained)
1/2 cup lowfat ricotta cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt, and then add the farfalle. Cook until al dente. Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add the oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and, once the oil is hot, add the chicken to the pan. Brown on all sides, and then add the onions and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, and some salt and pepper. Sauté until all vegetables are tender.
Increase the heat to medium high and add the vermouth. Cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, and then stir in the diced tomatoes (and a few tablespoons of juice), red pepper flakes, parsley, oregano, basil, and salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to medium-low, simmering until the flavors have developed (and chicken has cooked through). Add the spinach and cook until wilted down, about 2-3 minutes. Season to taste.
Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. Off the heat, stir in the ricotta cheese.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (this count uses vermouth, which has a few more calories than white wine): Calories: 477 / Fat: 8.6g / Saturated Fat: 1.9g / Carbs: 52.6g / Fiber: 7.1g / Protein: 41g