I've heard it said that love makes the world go 'round.
Maybe. I happen to think its a tie between love, food and tolerance. But I'm old and cynical. When you're a newlywed with stars in your eyes, its love.
I was first married at 26. I've always been a lucky soul, and my first marriage was no exception. A wonderful man, a beautiful big farmhouse on lots of Southern farmland, freedom to travel and do as we wished. I remember the early 90s with affection and nostalgia. It was a blissful time for me. As a young wife, I took the responsibility of household cooking seriously. I've always been fascinated by food and cooking, but back in 1993, I took that fascination to a whole new level. I bought countless cookbooks, studied cooking shows, immersed myself in gardening and growing my own vegetables, and....wait for it...
Became a vegetarian.
I know. I hope we can still be friends.
In fact, I wasn't a vegetarian for a day, or even a week. I was a vegetarian for more than a YEAR. I even tipped my husband into the lifestyle. He wasn't much pleased, I assure you, but he did go along with my experiment. Ultimately, though, he asked me sweetly to please stop and go back to traditional cooking, as his intestines could take no more.
As I recall, I cut today's recipe out of an early 90s edition of Cooking Light. While I was a vegetarian, it was one of my favorite go-to meal ideas. Quick, healthy and tasty, I think you'll come to rely on this light, easy recipe too! (Back in the 90s, light or nonfat dairy products were advocated as a more heart-healthy option. We know differently now, so feel free to use regular, whole milk ricotta.)
I was widowed in 1999, and am now happily, happily remarried. I've been so blessed. Those years taught me a lot. About life, and about love.
2 bunches scallions, sliced
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp capers
2 Tbsp chopped basil
2 cups nonfat ricotta
Splash of olive oil
1 package penne pasta
Prepare pasta according to box instructions. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Saute scallions, tomatoes, pepper and capers in the olive oil for several minutes, or until wilted and heated through. Drain pasta and place in a large bowl. Add scallion mixture, basil and ricotta, and toss to combine. Serve hot.