Gluten Free Penne with Spinach and Ricotta

by Joanne on January 18, 2012

I bowed out of my Sunday run, it was –4 degrees outside and the treadmill just wasn’t calling my name.

Monday was a good workout with 5 miles on the treadmill before doing a 25 minute weight workout THEN finishing with another 3 speedy miles on the mill. 8 miles logged for Monday, a good way to start the week.

Tuesday morning was a mid range run on schedule for 11 miles.  The temperature read 31 deg., no sign of  wind nor wintery mix so I headed out with Shane for 4 1/2 warm up miles before doing a series of 800’s on the treadmill.  11 miles accomplished and, since Ted was in the gym while I was on the treadmill, time flew.  We didn’t even talk to each other much, just having someone else in the room to be able to comment on the news or such now and then helps a lot.

I’m not sure how many outside miles I’ll be able to get in this week since running on snow covered roads really taxes my left hamstring.  I thought I was over it but the Tuesday run for 4 1/2 on snow covered pavement got that leg aching.  It was fine on the mill.   So for the next 36 miles for the week, my fingers are crossed for better weather and no snow.  High hopes right?! This IS upstate New York!

My schedule for Boston should top out at 70-72 being the highest mileage week.  We’ll see if that happens since my body begins to feel aches and pains around 60.

GF Corn Penne with Spinach and Ricotta

I saw this recipe on my friend Peggy’s site.  It looked so good, I had to try it.


She sent me the site of the original recipe:  Educated Palate

The following is my revised version.


Serves 4 people

  • 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons SmartBalance
  • 3/4 cup Fat Free ricotta
  • 1/3 cup Fat Free half and half
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 8 oz. Gluten Free penne  *I used a 100% corn pasta. Low Glycemic index, Egg/Dairy free, Cholesterol free, GMO free.  EXCELLENT texture!


1. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.  Prepare pasta according to package directions – al dente.

2. Peel and chop the onion.  Heat the SmartBalance in a large skillet until melted over medium high heat.

3. Sauté the onion until golden,about 5 minutes.

4. Add the spinach and sauté, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.

5.  Drain any liquid off the ricotta and add along with the half and half and nutmeg, to the spinach.  Cook until ricotta has heated through and the half and half is reduced, 2-3 minutes.

6.  Adjust for salt and season with pepper, then remove from heat.

6. When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce and the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve.


A very good pasta dish.  It wasn’t a heavy sauce as a lot of white sauce pasta dishes can be.  It was light in taste with nothing over powering.

A big thanks goes out to Peggy for introducing me to this winning pasta meal.

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  • At 2012.01.18 08:42, Ali @ Peaches and Football said:

    It’s funny – I see people on the sidewalks and streets running in this windy, single-digit weather and wonder how they do it. Not only is it FREEZING, but the sidewalks and roads are NOT in good condition. I have to really be careful of my footing when I walk. Not sure how they do it.

    I love cheesy pasta dishes. I need to get better about greens in my cooking though. I’d be better tossing in broccoli I think. Looks yummy.

    • At 2012.01.18 10:52, Eftychia said:

      This looks like a delicious pasta. I like the fact that you used fat free half and half…

      • At 2012.01.18 11:57, Heather said:

        Here’s to better weather!
        And that pasta looks seriously amazing. I’m drooling over here.

        • At 2012.01.18 13:57, Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D said:

          Corn pasta? I’ve never heard of that.
          We do use wheat pasta occasionally – I like it’s nuttiness.

          Thanks for the recipe.
          And, good luck in Boston!

          • At 2012.01.20 13:03, Sophie said:

            MMMM,…I only eat gf pasta & I love easy yet so tasty dishes like this one! I prefer only to eat fresh sheep’s ricotta which is low fat! Yum! 🙂

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