Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pappa what?

One of the latest trends in pasta (okay, I know you're thinking, seriously? pasta trends? but it's true!) is pappardelle. It's a very wide flat noodle that flops around on your plate mixed in with all the deliciousness you choose to toss it with. I used Garlic Herb Pappardelle from (of course!) Al Dente Pasta. I have found in cooking this pasta that I need to have my ingredients ready to go that it will be tossed with to mix it right away after I drain the noodles or else the pasta will stick together forever. I got it just right last night and Thad raved about it!

The recipe I used is the cover recipe from April 2011 Cooking Light - Pappardelle with Baby Spinach, Herbs, and Ricotta. I also added in some mushrooms to make it a little heartier for dinner. Here's my version of the recipe:

Pappardelle with Baby Spinach, Mushrooms & Herbs
serves 4

  • 8 ounces uncooked pappardelle pasta
  • 1 TB kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese (I used lite)
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves (I just grabbed 3 big handfuls)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (I didn't have chives, so subbed green onions)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 6 ounces baby bella mushrooms sliced
  • 1 TB canola oil
  • 3 TB grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  1. Fill large pot with water, add 1 TB kosher salt and get it boiling. Pasta only takes 3 min to cook so you want to drop it in just before everything else is ready.
  2. Heat 1 TB canola oil in frypan and saute mushrooms
  3. Chop, chop, chop all those fresh herbs! Place in large bowl along with spinach leaves, 1/2 tsp ground pepper, 1/4 tsp kosher salt. 
  4. Throw in that pasta! Cook for 3 minutes. Scoop up 1 cup of cooking liquid before draining the pot and combine it with ricotta and parmesan in a food processor or blender until well blended. (you might want to start with 1/2 cup and add from there, but I knew I had a lot of spinach in the bowl so went with the whole cup to start). Drain noodles and place in the large bowl with spinach and herbs. Add 2 TB olive oil and toss quickly. Add in ricotta cheese mixture and toss thoroughly. Serve immediately!

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