This month I had The Wimpy Vegetarian (don't you just love that name?). Susan is a beautiful woman who gave herself a gift after many years working in business and decided to enroll in cooking school (um, how cool is that..and how brave). Check out her about me page for more of the inside scoop into her life.
I pinned several recipes to try, but I'm a die hard pasta fan, (I am half Italian after all), so I chose one of those to make. Not only do I love pasta, but I LOVE ricotta cheese (remember the 1/2 Italian part), yah, I can eat the stuff out of the container. So...when I found a recipe that combined pasta, and ricotta, oh, and let's not forget BACON, I was sold!
Her recipe for Swiss Chard (which I also like) and Lemon and Ricotta Pasta was the winner-winner-chicken-dinner! My oldest was having her boyfriend over and as she considered what I was making said "maybe you can heat up some regular spaghetti sauce cuz I don't know if he'll eat this".....yah, he ate it, so I guess it was a hit.
What I loved about this is that I really think it is very versatile...you could maybe add some other vegetable to it, or another meat option, but I loved it as it was. I made more of the sauce, because, well, I love sauce too. I wasn't sure how much this would serve so I just kind of winged it with some of the amounts (pasta), etc..to what I knew would make enough for everyone.
Okay, on to the recipe.
Swiss Chard and Lemon Ricotta Pasta
from The Wimpy Vegetarian
3 c. raw swiss chard, sliced, chopped, whatever, stems included
2 handfuls dried spaghetti noodles
2 strips bacon cut in to 1/4" slices (optional)..why did she put bacon and optional in the same sentence..lol, and well, I used more than that.
1/2 large shallot minced
olive oil as needed
1/3 c. ricotta cheese
2 Tbs. parmesan cheese
zest from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch dried red pepper flakes...we put more in...it was spicy..haha.
1. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the Swiss chard for 5 minutes. I actually placed my chard in a steamer basket that fits on top of the pan I used for the pasta.
2. Scoop out the chard, and drain well, squeezing out as much of the water as possible. Chop again and set aside. Again, I just steamed it so I didn't need to ring it out.
3. Keep the pot of water boiling, and add the spaghetti noodles. Follow the directions on the packet for making the spaghetti. Drain and set aside, retaining about 1 cup of liquid from cooking the noodles.
4. Fry bacon until just crispy. Add the shallot and saute until soft, adding olive oil if needed.
5. Add the Swiss chard and toss well to break up the chard clumps.
6. Combine the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses in a small bowl, and add the lemon zest, salt, and red pepper flakes.
7. Add to the Swiss chard mixture in the saute pan and mix well.
8. Add cooked spaghetti, and some of the pasta water as needed.
9. Serve warm
So good, and yummy and comforting. Serve with some crusty bread and a gorgeous salad, and you're set.
With Joy UNquenchable,