The first week of our CSA brought us a lovely bunch of kale, as you may have seen in my previous post. I love kale, but I’m always trying to seek ways in which to use it that aren’t just the regular old sautéed greens. I found a great recipe from the New York Times: Recipes for Health toward the end of the Winter Season. I made it a while back and waited to make again until I could use some organic kale from the farmers’ markets or CSAs. This was just the ticket!

Pappardelle with Greens and Ricotta
From the New York Times Res for Health by Andrew Scrivani

1 pound greens, such as chard, kale or broccoli rabe, stemmed and washed well, or half of a 1-pound bag prepared greens
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, or a mixture of Parmesan and Romano Pecorino (to taste)
3/4 pound pappardelle

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the greens (you may have to do this in two batches). After the water returns to a boil, boil two to four minutes until the greens are tender. Using a deep-fry skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer them to the ice water. Do not drain the hot water in the pot, as you’ll use it to cook the pasta. Drain the greens, squeeze dry and chop.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the garlic, cook for about a minute just until fragrant, and stir in the greens. Toss in the hot pan for about a minute, just until the greens are lightly coated with oil and fragrant with garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

Place the ricotta in a large pasta bowl. Bring the water for the pasta back to a boil, and add the pappardelle. Cook al dente. Ladle 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the pasta into the ricotta and stir together. Drain the pasta, and toss with the ricotta, greens and cheeses. Serve at once.

This dish is quick, simple, and awesome! Very few ingredients, simple flavors, enriched with vitamins and protein, especially if you are using whole wheat pasta. I find it hard to even think about buying regular pasta these days, the difference between regular and whole wheat is so slight, yet so much healthier. I used Whole Wheat Rotini instead of pappardelle because it was easier to find in the grocery store. Of course I used Kale, and just simple store-bought whole milk ricotta. This makes a lot of pasta, so make sure you are serving it to a few people, or be prepared to take the left overs for lunch!