Whether you turn to it for its comfort, its ease, or the fact that it is currently well-stocked in your pantry, quick pasta dinners are likely to be staples in this current time of uncertainty. I know my personal pasta intake has gone way up since I began social distancing, and I’m guessing I’m not alone.
The cheesy, vegetable-filled recipe below makes use of one of my favorite greens — Swiss chard, which I think of as a two-for-one ingredient. You get the sweet crunch of the stems along with the tender, vibrant greens. Simply give the stems a bit of a head start with sliced garlic in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil before adding the greens. They’ll release quite a bit of liquid, but you’ll use that to create a pasta sauce. To complement the subtle sweetness of the chard, I like to mix in whole milk ricotta to the pasta, along with freshly grated, umami-rich Parmesan cheese.
A bonus? The entire process of chopping and cooking the vegetables can be done while pasta water comes to a boil and the pasta itself cooks, which means this dinner can be on the table in even less than 30 minutes.
For those of you currently stuck at home: While this recipe does call for a couple of fresh (or fresh-ish) ingredients that you may or may not currently have on hand, it is highly adaptable. Don’t have Swiss chard? Kale, collards, and fresh (or even frozen, thawed) spinach would all swap in just fine. Can’t get your hands on fresh ricotta cheese? Grate in some mozzarella or stir in a glug or two of cream. Garlic flavor is pretty critical here, but if you don’t have any, you can certainly try adding in garlic powder instead; the flavor will change a bit, but it’ll still be tasty. And do feel free to use any short pasta shape you can get your hands on — rigatoni mixes and mingles well with the greens and cheese, but penne, farfalle, fusilli or orecchiette would all work great.
Pasta with Greens and Ricotta
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