Friday, February 19, 2010

Easy weeknight dinner - Angel Hair Pasta with Green Beans, Ricotta, and Lemon

Most of my friends and family know that I've been on somewhat of a bender for the beginning of 2010.  We've had so many birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, family in town, work obligations, marathon training, etc., etc....let's just say there hasn't been a lot of time for creativity in the kitchen and that's been reflected on my lack of posts lately!  I am pleased to say that although it's been awesome, there is an end in sight and pretty soon normal life will resume.  I love being social, but I also love habit and routine, and have been really thrown off lately by the lack of control I have in my day-to-day schedule.  

Here's a little recap of 2010 so far and why I haven't been in the kitchen:

Since I don't generally whip out my camera at client lunches, industry cocktail parties, or 12 mile runs, some of my life events are missing :-)

Here's a look of what's to come home in a few weeks (our baby is 5 weeks old!):

So where does this all leave me when I am home on a weeknight, still wanting to try new recipes and be inventive in the kitchen?  Resorting back to simple, healthy recipes that I've bookmarked but not yet tried.  Giada's always my go-to girl, and I love her most recent cookbook Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites.  I recently made a variation of her Whole Wheat Linguine with Green Beans, Ricotta, and Lemon and let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

I could probably eat pasta every night and not get tired of it.  I typically stick with whole wheat pasta, but we had a box of regular angel hair pasta sitting in our pantry that really needed to be eaten, so that's what was used.  This is a really simple recipe - what I've posted below is the way I made it - the original recipe can be found here.  I liked the addition of ricotta cheese here - it gave the pasta a heartiness and more of a creamy texture than I'm used to.  Don't leave out the lemon zest - it really brightened it up!

Angel Hair Pasta with Green Beans, Ricotta, and Lemon (sun dried tomatoes too!)
Recipe Source: Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis' Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites

3/4 pound angel hair pasta
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
olive oil
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut on each end
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
zest of 1 lemon

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  When it is done, drain and toss with ricotta cheese and set aside.  

Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the green beans, salt and pepper, and garlic and saute for 5 - 6 minutes.  Add about 1/2 cup of pasta water and continue cooking for 4 or 5 more minutes (until the beans are tender).  Add the ricotta coated pasta to the pan and combine.  Toss in sun-dried tomatoes and sprinkle with lemon zest.  We also used freshly grated parm and red pepper flakes to boost the flavor a bit.


  1. Ahh! Golden retriever puppies! I'm so excited for you! Please post pictures on facebook the minute you bring the puppy home.

    Oh and of course the pasta looks delicious too :)

    Hope marathon training is going well. Post an update!

  2. love this post! can't wait to meet sam and try this recipe!

  3. I feel like that too. I love being social but I crave routine.

    You got a Golden Retriever puppy? I cannot wait to see the pictures. I have a Golden too. He's snuggling with me as I type this (and begging me to go to Piedmont Park).