We all have those days… You know, where everyone is running late to everything, dinner doesn’t get prepped like you planned, and the easy way out is to just pick something up. I will admit having succumbed to the takeout impulse plenty of times, but a little while ago, after having one of those days, I shot down hubby’s suggestion to “just get takeout” and set about improvising.
Sometimes improvised meals turn out to be the best. We had chard growing in the backyard (it’s the gift that keeps on giving!), stuff to make a batch of homemade ricotta, and I always keep pasta in the pantry and good-quality parmesan in the fridge. That was all I really needed to make this delicious pasta with a creamy sauce happen, and, guess what? It was better than takeout, not to mention healthier. Win!
Now, can someone please remind me of this next time we have one of those days?
- 8 oz spaghetti (preferably whole wheat)
- 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 bunch chard, tough stems removed, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- pinch crushed red pepper
- ½ cup parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- homemade ricotta (recipe here)
- Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, reserving about ½ cup of the pasta water.
- Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the chard and cook until wilted but still bright green. Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for a couple minutes more.
- Stir in the cooked pasta along with the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil and a nice splash of the pasta water, and add the parmesan.
- Lower the heat and stir until the cheese is incorporated and a thin sauce coats the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve topped with a healthy dollop of ricotta.
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