Bulk up a pasta dish by tossing vegies into the boiling water along with the pasta. In most cases, add vegetables towards the end of the cooking time. This super-simple pasta dish, highlighting broccoli, lemon and herbs and finished with a ricotta sauce, is perfect for a light dinner.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil for cooking the penne.
Stir ricotta, ¼ cup of Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.
Add penne to the boiling water and cook according to the directions on the packet. When there are 3 minutes left, add broccoli and asparagus. Continue cooking until pasta is al dente and vegetables are tender. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water, and return pasta and vegetables to the saucepan. Cover to keep warm.
Add the reserved pasta cooking water to the ricotta mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir the ricotta sauce through pasta and vegetables. Pass the remaining Parmesan separately.
Penne with spinach, ricotta and lemon: In Step 3, omit the asparagus. In Step 4, toss the penne with the ricotta sauce and spinach and stir until spinach has wilted.