A hearty pasta sauce that is both tangy and satisfying, has a bit of a twist: ricotta and tomato pasta sauce is the perfect compliment to gluten-free pasta.
I fricking love pasta. I mean, I don’t know very many people that don’t.
If you do, we may not have ever eaten together (and possibly may not in the forseeable future, because I doubt you even exist). This may be completely stereoypical of me, but I truly believe most North Americans (Italian or not) love pasta. Oh the delicious carbs and the sauces…..yum!!
So, apparently we are to lower our carbohydrate intake. To the nutritionist in me, this sounds ridiculous…until I realized, that many pasta-lovers, who also eat a lot of bread, rice, and other sources of grains may in fact be ingesting a bit too many of the starchy carbs. The concern here is the amount of gluten being ingested, which has had some indications of being adverse for overall gut health.
If you fall in that category, and trying to get on the gluten-free bandwagon, you are in luck.
There are a lot of options, including gluten-free pasta. However, gluten-free pasta, does cook differently. You must watch it carefully and boil it for half the time, otherwise the pasta becomes too soft. The pasta, if cooked well, does still taste great, but I found that I did need a heartier sauce that is a bit richer to fill the pasta craving.
Now when I say rich and heartier, I still want it to be healthy, of course!
So I wanted to come up with a fun sauce, one with garlic, tomatoes and my favourite pasta filling…ricotta cheese. In coming up with this sauce, I also came up with a spinach dip idea. Click here for the best spinach dip!!
Back to pasta sauce with ricotta cheese.
The combination of ricotta and tomatoes is a win for me, always. However, I tend to find it in stuffed pasta recipes like canneloni, or even lasagna. So I wondered what would happen if I made a sauce with my favourite filling and just cook with tomatoes…
I will tell you what happened, no-guilt LOVE.
Here’s how it’s done (I mean it’s easy and seriously you can do it with regular pasta too if you prefer).
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup of chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped red onion
- 3-4 gloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup of ricotta cheese
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil (or more, I personally eyeball this)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a sauce pan heat the oil and add the garlic and onions and sautee until the onions are translucent.
- Add the spinach and allow to soften.
- Add the ricotta and let it mix together.
- Once the rictotta and garlic has mixed together (you will be able to smell the mixed aroma), add in the tomatoes.
- Add in salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow it to simmer on low to medium heat for about 15 minutes. If you cook it longer, ensure to lower the heat, the longer cooking time allows more flavour to infuse.
- Remove from heat and serve over freshly cooked gluten-free (or regular) pasta.
Enjoy your heart out!
On a side notes, I really enjoyed this dish for a couple of reasons:
- it truly is healthy (for the heart),
- while it is not vegan, it is vegetarian
- it serves as a great base sauce for any pasta, also to compliment rice
- it freezes well for meal planning
- it fills the hunger gap, even if you are eating a less dense pasta with it
- it truly is delicious!
Try it and let me know what you think!