Simple Spaghetti Dish with Hearty Vegetables


Simple Spaghetti Dish with Hearty Vegetables

Swiss chard, garlic, lemon, and Parmesan cheese are the ingredients that go into the sauce for this vegetarian pasta dish, which has a smooth texture and a vividly colorful appearance.

I am always on the hunt for fast weeknight dinners that have the sensation of being served in a restaurant. These dishes should have the ability to make a Tuesday seem exceptional without making a massive mess in the kitchen or using all of my valuable spare time.

The book “Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables,” written by Joshua McFadden and Martha Holmberg, has quickly become a modern classic. Despite the fact that this guidebook has a plethora of delicious dishes, the one that I find myself turning to again and again is the “Kale Sauce with Any Noodle.”

Simply combining kale, pasta water, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese with other ingredients results in a bright kale sauce. Although it may not seem like much, this pasta is forgiving, fast, simple, and easy to make, and it has a rich tinge of green. The absence of nuts combined with the fact that the kale is cooked results in a sauce that is very smooth and luscious.

To ensure that the dish was to my liking, I made a number of adjustments, such as increasing the amount of garlic used, decreasing the amount of cheese used, using a variety of leafy greens and pasta shapes, as well as adding lemon and crushed red pepper flakes.

The sauce has a velvety texture despite the absence of any cream. It has the pungent flavor of garlic, the saltiness of Parmesan cheese, and the brightness of lemon juice. Everyone in the family will find something they like about it.

The Very Best Vegetables to Accompany Pasta

Although McFadden asks for kale, I find that Swiss chard works much better when I’m making this spaghetti dish. It requires little effort to prepare, heats up in a flash, and when blended, results in a sauce that is silky smooth and a vibrant shade of green. Additionally, it goes swimmingly well with garlic, lemon, and Parmesan cheese.

This sauce is versatile enough to be used with a variety of winter greens, including lacinato or curly kale, spinach, collard greens, or a combination of any of these. In point of fact, it’s a fantastic method for using the miscellaneous greens that come in a CSA box.

When working with chard, the leaves with the white or yellow stems are the ones I suggest utilizing. The meal may be made using red-stemmed chard without any problems; however, the color will be duller as a result. If you want to utilize spinach, it is recommended that you select bigger, more mature kinds rather than baby spinach. Simply remove the leaf from the stem by snapping it off, and it will be ready to use.

How to Pick Out Your Pasta

Any form of pasta will do in this application. The silky consistency of the sauce works well with many different forms of pasta, including orecchiette, pappardelle, and spaghetti; however, my personal favorite is for exciting shapes like rigatoni that are wide and cylindrical. Gnocchi or even cheese ravioli are a wonderful option when using this ingredient.

Because this is a straightforward meal, I would recommend selecting high-quality pasta and cooking it to a consistency called “al dente.” The contrast in texture between the two will be obvious.

How to Prepare Pasta with Winter Greens

Do not be intimidated by the fact that this recipe requires you to do many tasks at once. It’s not as difficult as it may seem!

While the water in the big pot is rising to a boil, you should begin preparing your greens and then saute the garlic. When the water comes to a boil, immediately add the greens that have been prepared. They need just a few minutes of cooking time in order to become dark green and limp while retaining their vitality.

Do not drain the water from the pasta; instead, remove the greens from the pot using tongs or a slotted spoon and allow them to dry. You may boil the pasta in the water that has become green, and while it is cooking, you can combine the sauce and add some fresh lemon juice to it.

After tossing everything together with the cheese and some of the reserved pasta water, you will have the dish ready in less than half an hour.

How to Achieve Perfection in Your Pasta Sauce: Hints & Tips

Even though this is a straightforward dish, there are a few important things you should keep in mind before you begin preparing it for the first time:

Garlic should not be roasted. Check to verify that the temperature is adjusted to medium-low. Maintain vigilance over it to ensure that it becomes a light brown color on all sides and adjust the temperature as required.

Don’t let the water run out. After you have finished cooking the greens, you should make every effort to avoid switching the setting to automatic and accidently draining the water. You may save yourself the trouble of bringing a fresh pot of water to a boil by cooking the pasta in the previously used water.

Keep some of the water from the pasta. You should save aside approximately a cup of the boiling water for the pasta before you drain it. You will need enough of this on hand not just to add some of it immediately to the blender for the sauce, but also to use to loosen up the sauce once it has been combined with the spaghetti.

Recipe Variations

This vegetarian spaghetti is quite versatile and simple to adapt:

To make this dish vegan, use a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast for the Parmesan cheese.

Gluten-Free: Instead, choose a gluten-free pasta that is your personal preference.

More lemon: If you want to make the sauce taste even more like lemon and fill the room with the scent of lemon, add up to a half of a teaspoon of freshly grated lemon zest.

Include some herbs: Grab a huge bunch of fresh basil or parsley leaves and throw them into the blender. It will offer a pleasantly crisp taste as well as even more of a vibrant green hue.

To make the dish extra creamy, add one or two tablespoons of heavy cream when you mix the pasta and sauce together.
To make the dish more cheesier, add one generous tablespoon of ricotta and mix it in with the sauce.

How to Preserve Any Extra Food

Because its unique texture is altered after being stored for some time, it is strongly recommended that this meal be served and consumed as soon as it has been prepared.

If you just need two servings, you may cut the recipe in half. This is particularly helpful if you want to serve it with a salad or another side dish.

If there are any leftovers after the meal, place them in a container with a lid and put it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Before heating it in the microwave, sprinkle it with little water and put it with a loosely fitting lid.

What to Serve With Pasta Made With Winter Greens
This pasta may be served as a robust component of a supper for four with a straightforward side dish or a dish that is more on the lighter side. You may want to try serving it with one of these recipes:

Uncomplicated Pasta with Hearty Vegetables

  • PREP TIME 10 minutes18 minutes for the cooking time
    28 mins
    three to four portions
    Swiss chard is essential to the success of this meal. You may use an equal quantity of kale, spinach, or collard greens, or you can use a combination of these three.
    2 bunches (about 20 ounces) of Swiss chard, either with white or yellow stems
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    3 huge garlic cloves, broken up and crushed
    1/4 milligram of dried red pepper flakes, more or less according to taste
    a half of a teaspoon of kosher salt, or more to taste, in addition to extra salt for boiling the pasta
    Dry pasta of your choice, such as rigatoni or orecchiette, measuring 12 ounces
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese that has been coarsely shredded, plus more for garnish


Get the greens ready:

Start the boiling process with a big saucepan of water.

After giving it a thorough washing, shake the Swiss chard leaves over the sink so that they may dry off a little bit. Lay a chard leaf down flat on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, run it along each side of the stem, all the way from the top to the bottom.

This will remove the stem, leaving the green leaf in two long pieces. Repeat this process with the remaining leaves, reducing the size of the extra-large pieces by cutting them crosswise into smaller pieces.

To prepare the garlic,

Olive oil should be added to a small pan and heated over medium-low heat. After the oil has heated up, add the garlic. About three minutes should be spent cooking one side until it is aromatic and has a little browning. Garlic should be flipped over, and then the red pepper flakes should be added. Continue to cook for another two to three minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown on the other side.

Put the garlic, pepper flakes, and oil in a blender so that it can cool down a little bit.

To prepare the greens, bring a pot of water to a boil and then liberally season it with salt. After adding the greens that have been prepped, press them down with tongs so that they are completely submerged in the water.

Boil for two to three minutes, or until the greens are wilted and a dark green color. You may extract the greens from the saucepan without draining them if you use tongs. Place them in a strainer so that they can drain and cool down.

Keep the water in the saucepan boiling for some time. You’ll put the pasta in there to cook with it.

To prepare the pasta:

Put the pasta into the pot of boiling water, and cook it until it reaches the al dente texture specified on the box. After reserving one cup of the water from the spaghetti, drain the noodles.

Cook the sauce as follows:

Put the garlic and chile oil in a blender and then add the cooked greens, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Blend until smooth.

Cover the opening of the blender with a dish cloth and leave the lid slightly ajar while using it. Blend until silky smooth, adding more pasta water one spoonful at a time if necessary. Blend until smooth and silky. To modify the flavor, taste the dish and add more salt as necessary, having in mind that the cheese will also contribute some saltiness.

Put the spaghetti together like this:

Place the pasta back in the saucepan, then cover it with the sauce. After adding the Parmesan cheese, give everything a quick toss so the cheese may melt evenly throughout.

To obtain a smooth and silky texture, add the conserved water from the pasta in little amounts at a time. It ought to coat the noodles without any difficulty.

Because the sauce will continue to thicken, adjust the consistency such that it is somewhat runnier than you would want. It’s probable that you’ll wind up using between a quarter and a third of a cup of the water that came with the pasta.


To serve, separate into individual portions, and top each with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan.





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