Traveling on the weekends is loads of fun, but not so much the coming back part and the hurtling of oneself into the Monday routine. Everyone's tired and cranky and by everyone, I mostly mean me, and those are not exactly qualities that promise great culinary success, so on nights like these when we want a home cooked meal after eating out for a bunch of days, I need something quick, comforting and tasty. Luckily this Weeknight Ricotta & Spinach Pappardelle really fits the bill. The whole thing practically cooks itself, which leaves you plenty of time to do all the laundry you just lugged home! Ha!
Even though this is a quickie, it's anything but ordinary and if you use fresh ricotta, you take it from being just another weeknight meal on the path to true culinary splendor! It's creamy but still light somehow, subtly flavorful and utterly comforting!
And while you don't have to use pappardelle (it's not a deal breaker if you sub in fettuccine or ziti) I strongly recommend it, as the wide noodles give the sauce and spinach something to really stick to. Plus there's the fun of saying pappardelle, which you can roll off the tongue between mouthfuls ever so gracefully, the whole dinner long. Makes you really want to join us for dinner, huh?!
Weeknight Ricotta & Spinach Pappardelle
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: Under 30 minutes
12 ounces pappardelle (you can use another type of pasta, but it's amazing with these wide, flat noodles)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced
10 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Salt and black pepper
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pappardelle according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest of the pasta well. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the scallions and cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, tossing. Add in the pasta, butter and ricotta and stir well. Add 3/4 of the reserved pasta water and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook over medium-low heat, until the sauce reduces and thickens. Add more of the pasta water if the sauce seems too thick and not creamy enough. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve immediately, topping with more grated Parmesan if desired.
Note: Recipe adapted from Chef Recipes Made Easy by Dana Corwin. I left out the tablespoon of fresh chopped sage. If you're a sage lover, add it in when you saute the scallions.