What a beautiful, springy, green dish! Driven by a little leftover ricotta cheese and swiss chard that continues to turn up in my weekly produce delivery, I adapted a pasta recipe from one of the Moosewood cookbooks and came up up with this. The thick, fresh papperadelle held the sauce perfectly and the toasted nuts added texture. Seeing green pasta has me excited for fresh pesto! Summer is still a long way off but in just a few months, my basil plants will be planted on the back deck.
Final mounds of snow are melting. The sun is visiting more often. Birds are fluttery and feisty… spring is here!!!
Papperadelle with Ricotta, Swiss Chard, Walnuts and Parmesan
Makes 4 medium portions
1 bunch Swiss chard, stalks removed (about 4 cups chopped)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
8 oz. fresh papperadelle pasta (fettucini or bowties would also be good)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
grated fresh parmesan cheese
Bring water to a boil. While water is getting hot, wash and rinse the swiss chard. Chop in shreds. Saute the garlic in the olive oil for a minute. Add the damp greens and stir until just wilted but still bright green. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. In a blender or food processor, puree with cooked greens with the ricotta until smooth. Add a few extra teaspoons of olive oil if needed to smooth out the sauce. Add more salt if needed to bring out the flavors of the greens.
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse when cooked. Toss pasta with the sauce. Use tongs to place a pile of pasta on a plate. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and cheese.
The Moosewood recipe also includes a bunch of watercress greens and a total of 3/4 cup ricotta. Experiment with greens of your choice!