Whole Wheat Penne with Green Beans, Lemon, & Ricotta

Hello everyone!  I hope that everyone is seeing nice weather, because the Philadelphia area sure is and I am loving it.  I just can’t wait for it to warm up a bit more.  I love the warm weather!  This past Sunday I had an 18-mile long run…my furthest so far for this training cycle.  The weather was PERFECT.  So many people were walking, running, and biking on the trail and there were tons of rowers out on the river.  Beautiful day.  My run went just as well as the day and I felt so good!  I just love those runs where everything clicks!  I was having such a good time and felt like running forever….well maybe not forever.  But anyway, I was very happy with how that run went and I am feeling really good today.  It doesn’t even feel like I ran 18 miles yesterday.  I ran it a bit faster than I would have liked to have but it was so hard to slow myself down when I was just feeling so good!  I ended up running the first 10.8 miles in 8:32/mile and the last 7.2 miles in 8:14/mile.  Next week I have a cut back week and I plan to slow it down a bit for the long run because the following week I have my first 20 miler!  I am so excited for BOSTON! woo. woo.   Now onto yummy food…

While browsing around Target the other day, I saw that Giada De Laurentiis has a new line of products out.  On the back of her Whole Wheat Penne Pasta, I saw a recipe that looked pretty good–so of course I tried it out!

Whole Wheat Penne with Green Beans, Lemon, & Ricotta

Makes 6-8 Servings.


  • 1 package whole wheat penne rigate (1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound French Green Beans, halved
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • Options that I added: Basil, Parsley, & Crushed Red Pepper Flakes


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.  Transfer the hot pasta to a large bowl and add the ricotta.  I seasoned the ricotta with salt & pepper.  Toss to combine. 
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add green beans, garlic, salt and pepper; saute for 4 minutes.  I also added crushed red pepper flakes.   Add reserved pasta cooking liquid and continue cooking until tender, about 4 more minutes.  Add the ricotta-coated pasta to the pan with the green beans; toss to combine.  Add tomatoes; toss gently.  I seasoned with basil & parsley.  Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with lemon zest.

I thought that this was a great recipe.  Although, I did think it was missing something so that is why I added the basil & parsley.  Does anyone have any other add-in suggestions to give this dish more of a kick??  Otherwise, this dish was awesome.  Very simple, fresh, healthy, and quick to make.  Enjoy!!


7 responses to “Whole Wheat Penne with Green Beans, Lemon, & Ricotta

  1. I would add the lemon juice in addition to the zest. Sounds very similar to some dishes I make. Yum.

  2. this weather is perfect. i am in heaven! hopefully it’s like this for boston!! 🙂

  3. Try adding a little red pepper flakes!

  4. that recipe looks great and i agree with matt about the red pepper flakes- makes everything better haha….is that grandmom’s bowl?

    • I actually did put in red pepper flakes….love them too. I could have used a bit more though! Yes that is Grandmom’s bowl…I have all of the serving bowls for it too.

  5. fitandfortysomething

    Great job on your run! I love Giada and should try some of the target stuff since I practically live there….
    I came across your blog because of the name……my byline to my blog is similar-fitness, food and fun in my forties.
    Great minds think alike!

  6. oh wow, what a great combination of flavors!

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