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Papparadelle with Kale & Ricotta

November 20, 2010

This week was busy. Tempt-me-to-order-bad-takeout-and-regret-it, busy. Unfortunately, this happens more often than I’d like, so I’m always happy to find a recipe that’s comes together in less than 30 minutes, and is actually healthy and satisfying—in other words, the perfect Wednesday night meal. Well, this is one of those recipes. It’s creamy and hearty, with a nice, subtle balance of acid and spice from the lemon and red pepper. Plus, it’s healthy—kale’s one of those “superfoods” that we’re supposed to eat more often. Best of all, this dish comes together in the time it takes to boil water, cook some pasta, and toss it all together. Or in the time it takes to sip glass of wine after a long and busy day. Enjoy.


Adapted, in a bunch of ways, from N.Y. Times

Serves 4

1 large bunch of tuscan kale
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
pinch (or two) of red pepper flakes, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 pound pappardelle (or one package dried papparadelle)
zest and juice from 1/2 lemon

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. In the meantime, wash the kale, remove the tough stems, and coarsely chop. Add a couple splashes of olive oil into a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant (about one minute). Add the chopped kale to the pan, along with a couple pinches of salt (to taste), a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a couple grinds of black pepper. Toss everything together, and cook until the kale is just wilted (three to five minutes). Remove from heat.

Place the ricotta in a large bowl. Add the pappardelle to the boiling water, and cook until al dente. Ladle 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the pasta into the bowl with the ricotta and stir together (this creates your “sauce”). Drain the pasta, and toss with the ricotta, sauteed kale, parmesan, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Taste to see if you want to add any more salt or pepper. Serve immediately and enjoy.

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