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Giada De Laurentiis Shares Her Secret to a Lighter Pasta Cream Sauce

As we performed our daily sweep of Giada De Laurentiis‘ social media accounts, we were stopped in our tracks by her whole wheat linguine. Not because of its colorful pasta and vibrant green beans and cherry tomatoes, but because of the pasta hack De Laurentiis buried in the caption of the Instagram post. And now, we can’t wait to give her genius pasta water tip a shot this weekend as we prepare her mouthwatering Whole Wheat Linguine with Ricotta, Green Beans, and Tomatoes dish.

“This colorful whole-wheat pasta gets its velvety sauce from a combination of ricotta and pasta water — one of [De Laurentiis’] favorite methods to make a lightened-up version of a cream sauce,” the caption states.

Did you catch that hack? To prepare a perfectly velvety, irresistible, lighter cream sauce, save one cup of the salted pasta water drained from your cooked whole-wheat linguine pasta, and toss your cooked pasta with 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta. Put that cup of water off to the side for now.

Next, you’ll take a large, heavy skillet (this Lodge cast iron skillet on Amazon is the most popular skillet with more than 92,000 reviews) and sauté your green beans and garlic.

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet $44.60 on

Then, take that cup of pasta cooking liquid and add it to the skillet and continue cooking the green beans and garlic until tender. You’ll then add the ricotta-coated pasta to the pan, toss to combine, add the halved cherry tomatoes, and toss again.

The final, can’t-skip step? Top each serving with lemon zest. “It brightens the flavor!” De Laurentiis writes.

Get the full Whole Wheat Linguine with Ricotta, Green Beans and Tomatoes recipe at Giadzy.
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