The best spring pasta ever

I’m one of those people who subscribes to cooking magazines, zealously cuts out a jillion things that look good, and then waits for-ev-er before actually making any of them. Usually. But this cover recipe from the April issue of Cooking Light broke me right out of that rut. It kept calling my name from its perch on the coffee table until I gave in and made it a few weeks ago.

It.   Was.   Amazing.

Easy, creamy, healthy, fresh – reminiscent of a pesto sauce but even better. I could have eaten the entire recipe myself. But my husband and those three little people who live with me were pretty enamored with it as well and so I had to share. Sigh.

I made a few substitutions to suit our taste which I’ve included below. If you’d rather try it as written, by all means have at it! But make this. Please. And will you invite me over for dinner when you do?


Pappardelle with Swiss Chard, Herbs & Ricotta

with some significant adaptations,  from Cooking Light April 2011

serves 4 (unless you are dining with me!)



8 ounces uncooked pappardelle (wide ribbon pasta) (I used extra wide Amish noodles – no pappardelle at Kroger)
1 tsp. kosher salt (original called for 1 Tbsp – yikes!)
1/3 cup  part-skim ricotta cheese
3 cups Swiss chard leaves, cut to 2″ pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (original called for dill- not my favorite)
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiana Reggiano (original specified Romano)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt



1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain in a colander,  reserving 1 c. of cooking liquid.

2. In a nonstick skillet, saute Swiss chard in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until tender.

3. Combine 1/2 cup reserved hot cooking liquid, chard, and ricotta cheese in a food processor or blender, and process until well blended. (I did this so my kids wouldn’t flip out about big pieces of chard in their pasta – you could leave the chard out to stir in later.)

4. Combine hot pasta, cheese/chard mixture, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently to coat. Add additional cooking liquid if needed. Serve.

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