Kegan and Jeff loved this pasta. The cottage cheese adds rich creamy texture without all the fat. A big protein boost is also a benefit of the cottage cheese. This recipe is from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites page 213.
Penne with Creamy Walnut Sauce
10 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 cups lowfat cottage cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup loosley packed chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
1 to 1 1/2 pounds penne (tubular pasta)
1 head broccoli
grated parmesan to sprinkle on top
**Toast walnuts in a single layer on an unoiled baking tray in a conventional or toaster oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes until fragrant and golden brown.
Bring a large covered pot of water to a rapid boil.
While the water heats, wash the spinach and transfer it to a seperate large pot. The water clinging to the leaves should provide enough moisture to steam it. Cover and cook the spinach on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, until wilted but still bright green. Drain. In a food processor or blender, combine the spinach, walnuts, cottage cheese, garlic, Parmesan, basil, and salt and puree until smooth, working in batches id necessary. Add pepper to taste and set aside.
When the water boils, stir in the pasta, cover and return to a boil. Then uncover the pot and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 7 minutes. While the pasta cooks, cut the broccoli into spears, blanch in boiling water to cover until just tender, about 5 minutes, and set aside. Drain the pasta and serve immediately in individual warmed bowls, topped with spinach-walnut sauce and several broccoli spears, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.