Penne with Zucchini and Ricotta

It’s been a busy, but fun few days since we last posted! Between race recovery, work and spending the weekend with a few of G’s high school friends who drove over from Phoenix, healthy meal prep took somewhat of a backseat until tonight. I wanted to make a pasta dish + veggies without adding chicken (think of it as Meatless Monday, on Tuesday). I saw a penne/broccoli/ricotta recipe on Pinterest yesterday and decided to modify it by subbing in a different vegetable and low-fat ricotta. We have broccoli a lot, so why not zucchini?

Warning: This dish looks and tastes extremely healthy, which can be a turn-off for some people. I added extra ground black pepper and some Parmesan cheese to give it a bit more flavor.

Penne with Zucchini and Ricotta


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Pinch chili flakes or crushed red pepper (I used the latter)
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (I added more to taste)
  • 1/2 pound penne rigate
  • 1/3 cup low-fat ricotta
  • 1/4 cup grated/shredded Parmesan


  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and the chili flakes or crushed red pepper. Let sizzle for a few seconds. Add the  zucchini and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini are tender. In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the penne according to instructions for al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. (You probably won’t use it all.)

    I love it when I can multi-task during dinner prep!
    I love it when I can multi-task during dinner prep!
  3. Toss penne in the skillet with the zucchini, lowering the heat to a simmer. Add the ricotta and a bit of the water at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.
The finished product (served with my not-so-healthy garlic cheese bread).
The finished product (served with my not-so-healthy, but incredibly delicious garlic cheese bread).

Here’s the nutritional breakdown per serving (makes about 4 servings):

Calories: 310

Fat:  3.35 g

Protein:  10.65 g

Carbs:  46.5 g


In other news, we’re gearing up to run the Surf City Marathon together on Sunday! We haven’t raced together in a couple of months, so it will be nice travel up to Huntington Beach for a mini getaway. This is also the third of three Beach Cities Challenge races we’ll complete, and we’re excited to see what the special challenge medal looks like!

Take care,


How about you? Are you racing this weekend? Let us know where so we can cheer you on!


7 thoughts on “Penne with Zucchini and Ricotta

      1. We really appreciate the comment and encouragement! We’ve made a priority to branch out on our healthy eating choices in 2014, and will be looking to your blog for ideas and inspiration. Thanks, again!


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