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Penne With Asparagus, Ricotta and Lemon

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“This recipe is from the Reader's Digest, Magic foods for better blood sugar book. I don't eat a lot of pasta because let's face it, it's just not that healthy, or low fat. But there are times where I crave pasta and am always looking for a healthy, fast and tasty version to have on hand. This serves nice with a side salad and a piece of low glycemic bread such as pumpernickel or sourdough. Instead of butter, a low fat ricotta mixed with a tsp of olive oil and some chili flakes is a nice low glycemic spread. There is also a variation here for Penne with Spinach, Ricotta and Lemon, however I have not tried this variation.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring a large pot of light salted water to a boil for cooking the penne.
  2. Stir together the ricotta, 1/4 cup of the parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.
  3. Add the penne to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until the penne is al dente (Do not overcook penne) and the asparagus is tender, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and asparagus and place in a large bowl.
  4. Add 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water to the ricotta mixture, whisking until smooth. Toss the pasta with the ricotta sauce.
  5. Pass the remaining parmesan separately.
  6. One serving is 11/2 cups.
  7. VARIATION: Penne with Spinach, Ricotta, and Lemon.
  8. In step 3 omit the asparagus; cook the penne for 8 to10 minutes. While the penne is cooking, cook one 10 ounce (300-gram) package of frozen spinach according to package directions. In step 4 Toss the penne with the ricotta sauce and spinach.

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