Spinach and Ricotta Pappardelle from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars



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In the middle of the bleak midwinter, everyone craves a taste of spring. Spinach is among the first to pop up out of the garden, delivering tender leaves all summer long – but it’s also the sort of thing that’s easy to find in February, even if it’s not sourced from your own back yard.

Flipping through food blogger Aimée Wimbush-Bourque’s new cookbook, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, which hits bookstore shelves this week, one of the recipes that jumped out at me – partly because of the irresistible photo – was the spinach and ricotta pappardelle. I love a simple pasta dinner – not only is it quick to prepare, kids love it, and in this case I get the opportunity to use up the thick ribbons of pasta I find so irresistible at the Italian market. This recipe is a great example of what you’ll find in Aimée’s cookbook – family friendly meals that are interesting, yet not too involved… dishes you can prepare on a regular Tuesday night with three kids clamouring for your attention. Proof you can eat well in less time than it takes for the pizza delivery guy to arrive.

Spinach and Ricotta Pappardelle

In the spring, when I need inspiration for a quick dinner, I slip on rain boots and head outdoors. When I see spinach leaves waving at me from the garden, I immediately know what I’ll make. Spinach is one of the first crops up in the garden, and I gather a bowl of leaves, as well as a few eggs from the chicken coop. Together they will be the base for an easy pasta sauce and we will be eating within twenty minutes. If having two superfoods in one dish doesn’t convince you to make this dish, then perhaps the simplicity of the recipe will. This is a fast and easy vegetarian dinner that even my kids can whip up from scratch.

Serves: 4-6
2 Tbsp salted butter
5 cups packed fresh baby spinach
500 grams Pappardelle pasta
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp light cream (15%)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large frying pan on medium heat and add all the spinach to the pan and salt lightly. Using a pair of cooking tongs, turn spinach in the pan until it is wilted, but not completely cooked, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. When your water has boiled, boil pasta for 5-7 minutes or according to the package’s recommended cooking time. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cream and ricotta while the pasta is cooking.

Drain Pappardelle and add it to the ricotta mixture. Toss well to coat. Add wilted spinach and Parmesan to the pasta and mix well. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper as needed and serve at once.

Reprinted with permission from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque (Penguin)

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