It’s Italian Tonight!
By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA
Buon appetito! Italian cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in our area. Traditional Italian foods focus on fresh wholesome ingredients like pasta, fish, vegetables, beans and of course cheese!
Here are a few tips on keeping it healthy:
- Choose the right ingredients: Include fish in your diet twice weekly and make vegetables a focal point on your dish.
- Choose lower fat dairy: Ricotta cheese is a staple in many Italian dishes, control the fat by choosing part-skim varieties like Galbani Ricotta cheese.
- Less is more: Keep meals simple with just a few ingredients; pan-seared chicken with broccoli rabe and pasta makes a quick and healthy meal.
- Use fresh herbs: Fresh herbs add vibrancy to meals! Whenever possible add chopped basil or parsley to finished dishes.
- Be mindful: Eat slowly and savor every bite! Don’t forget to share a meal with loved ones.
Incorporating seasonal vegetables into your Italian inspired dishes is easy! Just about any vegetable pairs with pasta seamlessly!
Roasted Butternut Ricotta Pasta
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 Servings
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash (see note)
- 12 oz. Galbani Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
- 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
- 10 basil leaves
- 5 sage leaves
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ box Ronzoni Linguini
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add cubed butternut squash to a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
- Chop up all herbs or place in a food processor until fine. Add the ricotta and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, set aside.
- Once cooked, drain linguini reserving 3 tablespoons of pasta water.
- Toss the pasta with butternut squash, ricotta mixture and reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.
Note: If cubed butternut squash is unavailable at the store, purchase a whole butternut squash, peel and cut into 1 inch cubes.