Basil Pasta Pomodoro with Whipped Sheep’s Milk Ricotta

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This is the very first dish I can remember making myself as a kid. Yeah, I made pierogi and huckleberry pies with my grandmas, but this was the very first dish I made all by myself. Usually, it was on Saturday afternoons in the summer. I’d come in from playing outside and be absolutely ravenous. My mom and I would’ve gone to the farmers market the day before and picked up cartons of big, juicy cherry tomatoes. I’d eat them like candy on the ride home, but always made sure to leave just enough so that I could make this the following afternoon.

The recipe contains exactly 10 ingredients and it comes together in a flash. It’s super simple, but really flavorful and perfectly balanced. I’ve added a few extra bells and whistles from the original, but it’s the same idea, the same comforting summer flavors, and my clients’ kids, in particular, love it.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

This recipe is high in fiber because of the tasty whole grain macaroni with cherry tomatoes. The blend of aromatic herbs gives this dish a lot of flavor and taste. Beware of the sodium intake in this recipe. Using whipped sheep milk ricotta cheese is a healthy version because of the low fat and calories. Sheep milk is much easier to digest and results in less milk allergies compared to cow's milk.

By Denine Rogers RDN, LD, FAND

Basil Pasta Pomodoro with Whipped Sheep’s Milk Ricotta

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 2

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped small dice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon assorted dried herbs (my blend includes parsley, thyme, oregano, and chervil)
1/4 cup white wine
1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
1 package (about 12 ounces) sprouted whole wheat macaroni (I get Severino’s organic frozen pasta from Whole Foods in the freezer section)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sheep’s milk ricotta cheese, whipped (for a vegan dish, sub with cashew ricotta)
2 tablespoons basil chiffonade

Instructions

1. Bring a large, generously salted pot of water to a boil
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium high in a large sauté pan until shimmering. Add the onion and salt and sauté, 3-4 minutes until soft and translucent.
3. Add the garlic and herbs and sauté another 2 minutes.
4. Pour in the wine and reduce by half.
5. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook about 3-4 minutes to release the juices. Lower the heat to medium low, cover, and let simmer until the tomatoes are extremely tender, about 5 minutes.
6. Stir in the balsamic and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
7. While the tomatoes are simmering, add the frozen pasta to the boiling water and stir to ensure they don’t clump together. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until just al dente.
8. Add the pasta to the tomato mixture, along with a splash of the pasta water, and toss to coat.
9. Divide the pasta between 2 plates. Top each portion with a dollop of ricotta and a tablespoon of fresh basil.

1. Bring a large, generously salted pot of water to a boil 2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium high in a large sauté pan until shimmering. Add the onion and salt and sauté, 3-4 minutes until soft and translucent. 3. Add the garlic and herbs and sauté another 2 minutes. 4. Pour in the wine and reduce by half. 5. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook about 3-4 minutes to release the juices. Lower the heat to medium low, cover, and let simmer until the tomatoes are extremely tender, about 5 minutes. 6. Stir in the balsamic and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. 7. While the tomatoes are simmering, add the frozen pasta to the boiling water and stir to ensure they don’t clump together. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until just al dente. 8. Add the pasta to the tomato mixture, along with a splash of the pasta water, and toss to coat. 9. Divide the pasta between 2 plates. Top each portion with a dollop of ricotta and a tablespoon of fresh basil.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 457; Total Fat: 13 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 16 mg; Sodium: 631mg; Potassium: 776 mg; Carbohydrate: 71g; Fiber: 9 g; Sugar: 12 g; Protein: 17g


Nutrition Bonus:  
Vit C: 52%; Vit A: 33%; Iron:18%;  Calcium: 12%

 
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