Egg Noodles with Ricotta Cheese and Broccoli

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Egg Noodles with Ricotta Cheese and Broccoli: What I've Learned So Far

This recipe for egg noodles with ricotta cheese and broccoli could just as easily be made with a different type of noodle. Technically, you could also substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta. So why specify at all? What's the difference between these ingredients?

We'll talk about the noodles first. The ingredients used to make specific types of noodles affect the texture, taste, how they're cooked, and how good (or bad) they are for you. Here's a website with tons of good information on the different types of noodles, their calorie and nutrient content, and how they're typically used in cooking. Generally speaking, you can substitute any pasta noodle for egg noodles. Sometimes it just comes down to what you have on hand.

Ingredients for egg noodles with ricotta and broccoli

Now let's talk about the cheese. Cheesemakers start with milk or cream, which they separate into curds and whey. Curds are used to make cottage cheese; whey is used to make ricotta. They're both white, soft cheeses that are mild in flavor, but have very different tastes and textures.

Ricotta is generally a much richer cheese due to the fact it has a higher fat content (and yep, that means more calories). Cottage cheese can be made with cream, low-fat, or skim milk so the calorie and fat content will vary. You can substitute cottage cheese for ricotta in most pasta and noodle recipes. Keep in mind that cottage cheese has more liquid, so will results in a thinner, runnier consistency. For this recipe you can easily substitute cottage cheese if you're concerned about calories. You can always strain your cottage cheese with a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth if you're concerned about the extra liquid.

Whipping Up Egg Noodles with Ricotta Cheese and Broccoli

You'll Need:

• 6 oz. egg noodles (1/2 package)

• 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

• 1 stick of butter

• 15 oz. ricotta cheese

• Salt

Do This:

1. Cook the egg noodles according to package directions.

2. Cut the broccoli into florets and steam them until cooked but still firm (about 10 minutes).

3. After you drain the noodles, add them back to the pot with the butter and ricotta. Mix together over low heat until the butter is melted and the contents of the pot are heated through.

4. Salt to taste (optional).

Egg Noodles with Ricotta Cheese and Broccoli: Recipe Notes

• You can leave a little of the noodle water in the pot if you like a slightly thinner consistency.

• This recipe is fairly high in calories - you can substitute low-fat ricotta or a lower fat cottage cheese to reduce calories.

• Add a little water to leftovers before heating, or the dish will dry out.

• While steaming is generally faster, you can also roast the broccoli before you add it to the dish.


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