Whole Wheat Penne with Pesto and Ricotta
- 1 pound whole wheat penne rigate pasta
- 1/3 cup walnut pieces (a generous handful)
- 1 cup packed spinach or baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup packed arugula leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a generous handful)
- 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon honey
Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the pasta cooking water.
In a small skillet, toast the nuts over medium-low heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 4 minutes; let cool. Using a food processor, puree the nuts, spinach, arugula, parsley and garlic; season with salt and pepper. With the machine on, pour in the EVOO in a steady stream and mix until a thick paste forms. Transfer the pesto to a large pasta bowl; stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano and reserved pasta cooking water.
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and honey, season with pepper and set aside.
Add the pasta to the pesto, toss and let stand for 1 minute. Serve with dollops of the honey ricotta.