Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ricotta Pasta Salad

I have to admit, I'm not as obsessed with Pinterest as everyone else seems to be. For quite a while there, I just didn't get the appeal at all. I've come around a bit though and used it to find inspiration for some DIY art projects for our master bathroom as well as some recipes. I don't spend hours and hours on the site, but I can see the usefulness of it now. (If you, on the other hand, are all about Pinterest, you can also access all of my recipes from the Cake & Coke Pinterest board. Feel free to re-pin and share your favorite recipes with friends!)

I happened across a photo of this recipe, but my attention was really captured by the caption which said that this pasta salad was made with ricotta instead of mayo. First of all, I love ricotta cheese. I can just eat it straight from the container. Second of all, I love creamy pasta salads but would like to be able to make them lighter (aside from just using light mayo). Justin, however, isn't a big fan of the texture of ricotta unless it's mixed into something like lasagna where he won't really notice it. This recipe, though, mixes in some pasta water to make the ricotta into a creamy sauce rather, which I thought would be a perfect way to hide the texture a bit. We adjusted the veggies to what we thought would be tasty and gave it a try. I think if we made this again I would maybe add a packet of ranch seasoning or something similar to the sauce to make it more flavorful--it was a little on the bland side--but otherwise I definitely liked this idea for a different take on pasta salad.


16 oz small pasta shells
1 c baby broccoli florets
16 oz ricotta cheese
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 c diced onion
1/4 c diced bell pepper


Boil pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 c water from boiled pasta. Drain, and set aside. Meanwhile, boil or steam broccoli to desired doneness. Drain, and set aside.

Mix pasta water and ricotta together in large bowl, stirring until smooth. Add pasta shells to sauce, and stir to coat. Mix in parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper, salt, tomatoes, garlic, onion, bell pepper, and broccoli. Stir well. Serve hot or cold.

Servings: 6

Recipe adapted from Budget Bytes.

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