I live with my boyfriend, who is totally vegetarian and very nearly vegan and then there is me, who is anything but. We tend to gravitate towards pasta dishes as a common ground for meals. Pasta is filling and very easy to make vegetarian. It’s a dish where neither of us are sitting there afterwards wondering what to eat next, which can happen after one too many dinners of lentil salad.
I came across this specific recipe on the lovely and expansive food blog, Whipped. The original recipe called for swiss chard, which my neighborhood C-Town did not have, but they did have kale, and I decided that would work just fine. I am a huge fan of kale and always game for any recipe that allows me to inject this super(delicious)food into my meal. Also, toasted walnuts! Is it just me or is everyone out there as obsessed with incorporating toasted nuts into everything they eat, savory or sweet?
This dish turned out good and is literally slap-full of healthy kale, but was a little bit on the dry side. If I make this again I would definitely incorporate more olive oil into the ricotta and kale mixture. Or maybe you fine readers have a helpful suggestion for keeping creamy cheese pastas creamy and not slightly coagulated. Comment away!
Kale, Ricotta and Walnut Pasta (adapted from Whipped)
(Yields 4 servings)
1 bunch kale, washed, ribs removed and roughly chopped (yields 4 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
8 oz. fettucini
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
grated fresh parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. While water is boiling, sauté garlic in olive oil. Add kale and sauté until just wilted but still bright green. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Put greens and ricotta into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. If mixture does not look smooth enough, add an extra tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add extra salt and pepper to mixture as needed. Set aside. Cook pasta in water as per instructions on the box. Reserve one cup of pasta water before straining. Strain and rinse pasta and return to pot. Toss ricotta and kale mixture in with pasta, adding pasta water if mixture needs to be thinned out. Top with toasted walnuts and parmesan and serve.