Complete Low-Cal Dinner Featuring Lemon-Basil Pasta


This recipe for Ricotta and Lemon-Basil Pasta, along with the green beans (below) will help you get a fresh start on eating right. And it's family friendly: you need less than 20 minutes to get the entire menu on the table.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Makes 4 servings

Make sure to reserve some of the cooking water before you drain the pasta. It will add flavor and help thicken the sauce.

8 ounces uncooked pasta, such as seashell or campanelle
1 cup (8 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Lemon wedges (optional)

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

2. Combine ricotta, next 5 ingredients (through pepper), and reserved cooking liquid in a large bowl. Add the pasta, and toss to combine. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired. Serve immediately. (Serving size: 1 cup)

Calories 273 (13% from fat); Fat 4g (sat 2g, mono 0g, poly 0g); Cholesterol 20mg; Protein 15g; Carbohydrate 46g; Sugars 3g; Fiber 2g; Iron 2mg; Sodium 363mg; Calcium 116mg

Green Beans With Toasted Almonds

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast 1/4 cup sliced almonds in oven about 5 minutes or until fragrant and golden. In a large saute pan, melt 2 teaspoons butter, and add 1 (12-ounce) bag trimmed beans to the pan; saute 5–7 minutes. Toss almonds with green beans, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot.