Adding ricotta and lemon olive oil to hot whole wheat pasta noodles creates a creamy sauce. Add cooked kale and top with Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and chopped pistachios for a delicious vegetarian main dish or side dish for chicken (see recipe links below). lemon olive oil is worth adding to your pantry. If you don’t have it, use good quality extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest for the lemon flavor.
Serves 2, doubles easily for 4
4 ounces whole wheat pasta, linguine or spaghetti ( I like DeLallo)
1/2 bunch of Lacinato or Tuscan kale (or use more if you prefer)
1/2 cup (3 ounces, 85 grams) part skim Ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon olive oil, plus more for drizzling over the top
1/2 ounce chopped raw, unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts
2-4 tablespoons grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
zest of 1 small lemon, Meyer lemon if possible
1) Fill a large pot or pan (4-5 quarts) with water. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, trim the kale. If the leaves are small and tender, trim off the bottom stem, then crosswise into thin ribbons or strips. If the leaves are larger, cut out the center rib, then cut across into thin ribbons.
2) When the water is at a boil, add a tablespoon of salt. Add the kale ribbons and cook for 4 minutes. Lift the cooked kale out with a spider or sieve and set aside (don’t drain the water yet). While the water is still boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
3) When the pasta is done, save a little of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta and place back in the hot pan with the heat off. Add a little salt and pepper.
Add the ricotta cheese and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Toss until creamy. If you want it to be more creamy, add a little of the reserved pasta cooking water. Add the kale. Place the pasta in warmed, wide shallow bowls. Top with a little more olive oil if desired, plus the pistachios, parmesan and lemon zest.