Pasta with Greens and Ricotta
from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
1 bunch greens (Swiss chard, spinach, kale, or other greens) , tough stalks removed (about 4 cups chopped)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon olive oil
dash of salt and ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 bunch watercress (about 1 cup chopped), tough stems removed (optional)
1 pound pasta (fettucine, penne, macaroni, fusilli, butterflies, or shells)
grated parmesan cheese or crumbled ricotta salata
chopped fresh tomatoes (skip when not in season)
toasted walnuts or pine nuts
Bring a large covered pot of water to a rapid boil.
While water heats, rinse the chard (& watercress, if using) well; shake off any excess water, and chop coarsely. Saute the garlic in the oil for a minute, until soft & golden, taking care not to scorch it. Add the damp greens and saute, stirring often, until they are wilted but still bright green. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and remove from heat. In a blender, puree the cooked greens with the ricotta until smooth and evenly colored. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
When the water boils, stir in the pasta, cover, and return to a boil. Then uncover the pot & cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and immediately toss it with the sauce in a warmed serving bowl. Top with parmesan or crumbled ricotta salata, tomatoes, and/or toasted walnuts or pine nuts.