Tomato Ricotta Penne
3 cups uncooked Brown Rice Penne Pasta - cooked according to directions
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion - finely diced
1 medium zucchini - diced into bite-size pieces
1 pepper (color of your choice) - diced into bite-size pieces
2 cups Classico Tomato and Basil pasta sauce (or a sauce of your choice)
1 cup ricotta cheese (or half of a small 454 g container)
1/4 cup sheep feta cheese or parmesean cheese
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces (optional)
Cook the pasta according to directions. See cooking notes at the bottom.
In a large skillet, pour the oil into a heated skillet. Saute the onion for a few minutes until tender. Then add the zucchini and pepper and saute until they are tender (about 5 minutes?). Add the pasta sauce. Once that is heated through, add the ricotta cheese and heat for a few more minutes.
Serve the sauce over cooked pasta.
What would I do different?
If I have leftover cooked chicken, I will add it to the sauce. Since this recipe is mostly used in a pinch, I won't bother to thaw frozen chicken to add. The ricotta and walnuts add the protein in the dish.
You can also add fresh garlic when sauting the onions but I find the choice of sauce has plenty of flavour.
I am not one to measure my diced veggies so please use your common sense in the amount used. I like lots of veggies so sometimes use more or less or whatever is in my fridge.
Rice pasta cannot be overcooked. Follow the directions on the package as different brands will cook different. I use my timer when cooking pasta to ensure I will not over cook them. Mine is cooked for 7 minutes from the time it is added to the water and it is perfect every time.
The walnuts in here really do add a beautiful texture and flavour. As bizzare as it may sound, it really is worth a try. Pine nuts are often the choice nut for something similar but I find them fairly expensive and will use walnuts instead. I also always lightly toast the nuts I use as they taste much better than raw ones.
We really do love this recipe but since it is fairly simple, I can only give it a 4-Star. If the sauce were from scratch, I would give it 5 but then it is hardly a meal in minutes.