Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Easy, elegant Wednesday Night Dinner- Pappardelle with Ricotta, Parsley and Toasted Walnuts
Yesterday. I came home to find a care package of sorts on my front step from my friend Sara. Sara is the best, she knows that I like wine, spirits and food, and she always seems to find the perfect things that she knows that I'll savor. As soon as I saw the package, I ran in the house, grabbed a knife and opened the box. Right on top was a beautiful package of Garofalo papardelle pasta, the noodles sitting in little nests inside the package, just waiting to be cooked. As soon as I saw these noodles, I was a man on a mission. Papardelle is one of my favorite styles of pasta, and it was obvious that this was very high quality and well made pasta. Sometimes I like to make a nice ragu to serve with papardelle, but recently, I've been craving ricotta, and I knew that ricotta would coat these noodles perfectly. I figured that I would toast some walnuts to add a bit of protein and some flat leaf parsley for some added flavor and color. I've got to say, I'm very happy with the result. This is a delicious, interesting, and easy weeknight dinner to prepare. Maybe serve a nice Oregon pinot gris with this, a bit of salad and you've got yourself a romantic meal with limited time and money.
Papardelle with Ricotta, Toasted Walnuts and Parsley (serves 4)
1 package (16 oz) Garofalo brand papardelle pasta
1/4 c chopped flat parsley leaves
1/2 c chopped walnuts, toasted (in a medium pan with a touch of olive oil to bring the flavors out)
1 c ricotta cheese
about 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c grated parmesan
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1) In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the water. When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta, stirring to incorporate. Cook approximately 8 minutes or until al dente.
2) While the pasta is cooking, chop the parsley and add it to the walnuts. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the mixture and stir to incorporate.
3) In a medium size bowl, mix the ricotta with 1 c pasta water and 1/2 c olive oil and stir to combine thoroughly.
4) Take the drained, al dente pasta and add to the ricotta mixture, stir to coat.
5) Mix in walnut salad, salt, pepper, and parmesan and toss to combine.