Ricotta-Spinach Pasta

Today is the kind of day that I literally was itching to go for two runs, it was so beautiful.  I love that I no longer live in an apartment complex and can see the streets filled with people walking their dogs when it’s nice.  Just love it!  This is only my second year in Buffalo, but from what I can understand they don’t ever see 75 degree days in March, let alone the ground (not covered with snow!).  The weather has been like this for a few days now, so this weekend I seized the opportunity and took Dan’s grandmas dog Sadie for a run.  I am not a dog owner, so in my head  I thought, “she’s a dog, they love to run, she can definitely handle 4 miles with me.”  Well at .75 miles Sadie parked it and looked at me with the expression of- “are you OUT of your mind, woman?” You can even see in the pic below how pissed she is at me.  So sadly, I took dragged her back home and finished the run alone.    She will be a great cool-down dog though, and I will need to make sure my puppy loves to run when I do purchase one of my own. :)

Tonight’s recipe is a Cooking Light recipe.  I got the magazine in the mail on Friday and was overjoyed to see it say “40 Fast and Easy Meals.”  With school, clinic, work, doing hw, and squeezing in exercise, it’s gotten too frustrating to approach the kitchen during the week with an hour long dinner prep ahead of me.  As much as I love cooking, I just can’t do it.  It’s so exciting to find a quick, easy and healthy meal.  This one serves 3-4 and I loved it.

Ingredients:

9 oz fettuccine pasta (I couldn’t find a whole wheat version- but if you can, all the better)

2/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (this was the only modification I made from the original, which called for whole-milk cheese)

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

3/4 tsp salt, divided

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

1.5 cups diced red bell pepper

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

3 cups fresh baby spinach

 

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to the package.  Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water.
  2. Combine ricotta, lemon rind, 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add bell pepper, saute 2 minutes.  Add walnuts, 1/2 tsp. salt and garlic, saute 2 more minutes.  Stir in 1 tbsp. oil and lemon juice.  Add pasta water, pasta, and spinach.  Cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts (took about 3 minutes for me).
  4. Top with ricotta mixture, blend in and remove from heat.

 

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