Archive for April 7, 2010
Pasta dishes are quick to make and can fill a crowd. I would like to focus on one of my favorite pastas, ziti. This long tubular pasta is great served with chunky sauces, meat or other vegetable-loaded dishes. It works well with this recipe, which calls for cannellini beans, tomatoes and spinach.
Loaded, fresh and nutritious, it is great for days with tight schedules and time constraints. It takes about five minutes of prep time, and only requires as much times as it takes water to boil and the pasta to cook.
To note, I used a can of diced tomatoes that had been drained in this recipe. It was what I had on hand, and the dish still turned out fine.
Ziti with Spinach, Tomatoes and White Beans
Serves 4 about 1 1/4 cup servings, 7 points per serving
8 ounces ziti or other tube pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large garlic clove, minced
1 pound baby spinach
1 (15.5) can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and keep pasta warm.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sweat the garlic for a minute. Stir constantly until golden. Add the spinach, a handful at a time and stirring until all the spinach is wilted.
Add the white beans and tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper to the skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until the broth is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta, stir and cook until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Ziti is perhaps most often used in baked ziti dishes, a belly-busting cheesy-delish concoction that is not so friendly to the careful weight manager. Try this Baked Ziti recipe for a super filling, savory meal that uses just a hint of Parmigiano-Reggiano and fontina cheese and fresh vegetable and herbs to make this otherwise heavy dish more delicate.
Another baked ziti by Cooks Illustrated recipe comes from a link on Nick Kindelsperger’s blog post. This recipe uses a touch of cream to add some of richness to the traditional baked ziti recipe, but it still seems light.