After a busy day, there’s nothing more that I want than fast food. Not the McD kind or the pizza kind. I want something I could fix ASAP without having to fret over ingredients I’m missing. You must think I just bake and eat baked goods all the time with everything that I’ve been posting lately, but I still do cook. I want to spend my time in the kitchen wisely (=quickly), making something that’s good enough to eat and enjoy, but still healthy. I mean, cutting out the part where I drink wine is eating healthier, right? Aha.
There were still fresh pasta and prosciutto from my last trip to Granville Island, and a bunch of almost- forgotten Swiss chard that commanded attention or they will take a direct trip to the food scrap recycling bin. And then there’s the leftover ricotta from my crumb cake baking, plus a lonely shallot bulb. I’m not organized enough to have my market loot assigned into dishes and menus, so this is a regular plight: Get available and/or in-season ingredients and figure it out in the kitchen later. The pantry and fridge supplies my cooking notes, and sometimes we orchestrate some magic. This one will be added to my pile of go-to quick food, with the greens adapted to what’s in season or easily available.
Simple food can be satisfying, you just have to be willing to try. And don’t forget to check what you already have in your kitchen. Yes, that is a lesson for myself as well.
If you’re into Swiss chard, check this other recipe, too: Eggplant & Chard Lasagne. It’s a vegetarian dish that has a good chance of winning the meat lovers over. :)
Yields: 3 to 4 servings
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- a bunch of Swiss chard (can be more or less, depending on how you like them), washed, stems removed and chopped
- 150 grams linguine (if you’re using fresh pasta, gauge how much you would cook for 2-3 people
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
- a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- freshly ground pepper
- 80 grams thinly sliced prosciutto
- grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Cook pasta al dente, drain but leave about half a cup of pasta water in the pot. Transfer pasta in a large bowl.
- Heat oil in a frying pan at medium heat. Saute shallot and garlic for 3 minutes. Add chard and 2 tablespoons of pasta water. Mix and cover. Cook until greens turn limp.
- Heat the pot with the remaining pasta water in medium-low heat and stir in the ricotta, nutmeg, a pinch of salt and ground pepper. Turn off heat and toss in pasta and half the chard. Serve topped with remaining chard and prosciutto, sprinkled with parmigiano-reggiano.
This recipe is so easy and flexible. You can vary the amount of pasta, chard, cheeses and spices, as you like. You can also use heavy cream if you don’t have ricotta.