You know what’s awesome? Using an ingredient you haven’t had the best success with in the past only to discover that you actually love it. For me, this time at least, I am talking about arugula. I’ve tried it in a few different recipes in the past and never really been a fan, but I have to tell you, it really sings in this dish. The peppery bite adds something fantastic against the citrusy hint of lemon and sweet fresh basil. The ingredient list is short, but the end result is incredibly flavorful and fragrant!
Penne with Spinach and Arugula in a Basil, Ricotta, and Parmesan Sauce
1 13.25-ounce box of whole wheat penne
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
5 ounces baby spinach and arugula blend, roughly chopped
2 cups fresh basil, roughly chopped
Prepare the pasta according to package instructions, being careful to cook only until al dente.
In a small bowl, mix lemon zest and juice with ricotta and parmesan cheeses. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add greens and basil, cooking until they are just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese mixture.
When pasta is finished cooking, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before straining. Toss pasta into cheese and greens mixture, slowly adding pasta water as needed to form a creamy sauce.
Modified from Fine Cooking