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Penne with Spinach and Arugula in a Basil, Ricotta, and Parmesan Sauce

Penne with Spinach and Arugula in a Basil, Ricotta, and Parmesan Sauce
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Prep Time: 10 min Serves: 6
Cooking Time: 15 min Yield: 6 servings
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Fill a large pot with water, salt generously, and bring the water to a boil. Add pasta, start timing, and cook until barely al-dente. (Check package for cooking time; I cooked the Dreamfields Penne for barely ten minutes.)

While pasta cooks, chop the arugula, chop the basil, and zest the lemon. (Wash the arugula and basil and spin dry if needed.) In a bowl large enough to hold all the pasta and sauce, combine the ricotta cheese, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, lemon zest, and salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. (I used a generous amount of pepper but not too much salt.)

Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the arugula and chopped basil and cook until they are barely wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in basil pesto if using. Add the wilted arugula/basil/pesto mixture to the other sauce ingredients and stir to combine.

When pasta is done scoop out 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain pasta into a colander placed in the sink. Combine the hot pasta with sauce ingredients and stir gently, adding as much of the pasta cooking water as needed to make a creamy mixture. (I used the entire 1/3 cup of pasta water.) Serve warm or room temperature, with extra freshly grated Parmesan to add at the table if desired.


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