This quick and simple recipe is a great way to use any soft green leaves you may have in the fridge. In the height of summer, there are all sorts leaves available to us so feel free to use the likes of kale, cavolo nero or spinach if you can’t get any chard.
The slight bitterness from the leaves balances beautifully with acidity from lemon and saltiness from Pecorino; creamy ricotta adds voluptuousness. Ready in 15 minutes.
- 200g dried fusilli bucati (you could use other pasta shapes of course)
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- 200g chard, leaves and stalks separated and both rinsed and dried
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano (use 1/3 tbsp dried if you don’t have fresh)
- 75g fresh ricotta
- 1 lemon
- 25g Pecorino, finely grated
- Salt and black pepper
Cook your pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the instructions on the packet. Finely slice the chard stalks and leaves, keeping them separate. Zest and juice the lemon.
Heat the olive oil in a wide pan. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a minute or two on a medium heat until the garlic starts to brown slightly. Add the sliced chard stalks to the pan with a pinch of salt and cook for 5 more minutes until softened.
After 5 minutes, add the sliced leaves to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the oregano and lemon zest and cook for a further 3 minutes until the leaves have completely wilted.
When ready, drain the pasta, reserving a ladle or so of the pasta cooking. Take the pan with the green leaves off the heat and stir in the ricotta and lemon juice with a generous sprinkling of salt and grinds of black pepper. Add the pasta and the Pecorino. Stir well and serve, topping with more extra virgin olive oil and Pecorino.