nutritional information

Per 1/2-cup serving:

  • Calories: 294
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Total Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Cholesterol: 30 mg
  • Sodium: 371 mg
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Sugar: 5 g

Penne with Basil and Ricotta and Crispy Pine Nut Topping

Serves 6

30 minutes or fewer

Think of this casserole as mac and cheese for adults. Ricotta adds extra creaminess to the sauce, and pine nuts make the breadcrumb topping extra-crunchy.
  • 1 ½ cups penne pasta
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (2 Tbs.)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1 ½ tsp. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup low-fat milk
  • 1 ½ cups low-fat ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 2 Tbs. panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp. dried basil

1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, then drizzle with 1 tsp. oil. Keep warm.

2. Preheat broiler. Coat 6 1/2-cup ramekins with cooking spray, and place on baking sheet.

3. Heat 1 1/2 tsp. oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot, and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in flour until paste forms. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until sauce thickens. (If sauce becomes too thick, add a few spoonfuls of water.) Whisk in ricotta, then gradually whisk in 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese. Remove sauce from heat. Stir in fresh basil, and season with salt and white pepper, if desired. Stir penne into sauce. Spoon heaping 1/2 cup penne mixture into each prepared ramekin.

4. Combine remaining 2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese, remaining 1 1/2 tsp. oil, pine nuts, panko breadcrumbs, and dried basil in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle each ramekin with 1 Tbs. pine nut mixture. 5. Broil ramekins 2 to 3 minutes, or until topping turns golden brown.

March 2013 p.53

you might also like


I made this recipe but it was very dry. I assumed the recipe called for 1.5 C uncooked penne. The flavor was great, but I think I might add a can of Mushroom Soup, less pasta, or more sauce....

Amanda Reineke - 2013-03-08 00:26:10