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Ever since college and grad school, I’ve been in the habit of making a full recipe when I cook even though it’s usually just for lil’ ol’ me.   Sure, that sometimes means 4+ days of leftovers, but I guess I’m kind of a lazy cook!

This recipe is certainly no exception.   I found it in my Moosewood cookbook, which I’d bought quite a few years ago and had shamefully forgotten about.   I really should have halved it because one pound of pasta??   So far, four heaping bowls have just gotten me to the halfway point…oy!  It says it serves 4-6, but I’m thinking more like 8-10.


Anyway, this is apparently a simplified version of pansoti from northern Italy, which is a pasta filled with greens and topped with a ricotta walnut sauce.  It’s a good way to get in some more servings of greens, and it sure does make a bright-colored dish.

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Pasta with Greens and Ricotta
adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home

Like I said, this makes a LOT of pasta.   If you want to halve it, you could either use one bunch of greens, or you could use half of two and use the leftovers for something else.  Spinach salad and baked kale chips, perhaps?  The original recipe calls for watercress and Swiss chard, but my grocery store didn’t have those for some reason.   Any greens will work!

1 bunch kale, stems removed
1 bunch spinach, stems removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
dash of salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup ricotta cheese

1 pound pasta (I used whole grain penne)

grated parmesan cheese
chopped fresh tomatoes
toasted walnuts or pine nuts (forgot these!)

Get a large pot of water going on the stove while you prepare the greens, and cook pasta according to the package’s directions.

Rinse the greens thoroughly and roughly chop.  In a large skillet, heat about half of the oil and saute two cloves of garlic for a minute.  Add the greens from one bunch and cook until just wilted, but still bright.  Season with some of the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then spoon into a blender.  Repeat with the other greens and the remaining oil, garlic, and seasonings.  Once all of the greens are in the blender, add the ricotta and puree.  Toss the sauce with your drained pasta. Serve with grated parmesan, chopped tomatoes, and either toasted walnuts or pine nuts.


Next time I make this (though it might not be for awhile…), I’m going to make the sauce pesto-y by adding basil and throwing the nuts in instead of as a (forgotten) topping.  While it’s good as-is, I’d like the little extra oomph!