It’s a fun month for celebrating good food and friends, too. I love all of the fresh produce and culinary ideas that spring up this time of year. Let’s think green this time of year from leafy greens to artichokes to asparagus to green peppers to green onions to green peas to avocados. It runs the green food gamut!
In just a few simple steps, this creamy macaroni dish is born. Be sure to cook the peas by either steaming or microwaving them until softened (about 2 -3 minutes). Once they are cooked through, just toss them into the cooked macaroni. Did you know that peas are high in vitamin C and fiber? You get a whopping 5 grams of fiber per 2/3 cup!
Sauté finely minced shallots, garlic and white button mushrooms with a hint of smoked paprika. It adds hearty flavor to the dish. Next, add the sautéed mixture to the ricotta cheese and toss into the pasta. Mix well. For added color and a boost of vitamin A and fiber, you can top with colored carrot shavings. It looks so pretty!
Serves 4 (about 1 cup each)
2 cups uncooked, whole grain macaroni-style pasta
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 small shallot, finely minced
1/2 cup white button mushrooms, minced
1 cup Ricotta cheese, whole milk or part-skim
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Black pepper to taste
Tri-color carrots, shaved (optional)
On the stove top on high heat, place a large pot filled 3/4 with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni and stir occasionally to stop it from sticking together. Boil for 10 minutes or until al dente.
As pasta cooks, drizzle oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Add the garlic, shallots and cook for about 2 minutes; toss in mushrooms and allow them to brown a bit and soften, stir frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
Drain macaroni in a colander in the sink and place into a large bowl.
In a medium mixing bowl, spoon sauteed mixture into ricotta cheese and mix until well-blended. Add salt and pepper and stir again until blended.
Spoon ricotta cheese mixture into the macaroni and mix well. Dollop into serving bowls and top each with shaved carrots, if desired. Enjoy while still warm.