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Orecchiette with Corn, Greens, and Ricotta

Orecchiette with Corn, Greens, and Ricotta

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  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 8 cups Swiss chard leaves, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Torn fresh basil leaves (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

  • Cook orecchiette; drain, reserving ¾ cup pasta cooking liquid. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, 5–8 minutes.

  • Add corn and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add Swiss chard leaves; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing often, until wilted, about 5 minutes.

  • Toss in pasta and reserved pasta cooking liquid; cook until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Serve dolloped with ricotta and topped with basil.

,Photos by Christopher Testani

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 400 Fat (g) 12 Saturated Fat (g) 5 Cholesterol (mg) 25 Carbohydrates (g) 61 Dietary Fiber (g) 5 Total Sugars (g) 6 Protein (g) 16 Sodium (mg) 430Reviews SectionDid anyone else feel a different texture on their teethAshjenicCalifornia01/07/20

Orecchiette with Greens, Garbanzo Beans and Ricotta Salata

Cook Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
12 ounces Swiss chard or mustard greens, stemmed
12 ounces baby spinach leaves
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups small cherry or grape tomatoes
8 ounces ricotta salata cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the garlic and discard. Add the Swiss chard and cook until wilted. In batches, add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the beans and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the pasta, 1/2 of the cheese, and lemon zest. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed.

Transfer to a large serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.

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Episode 25: Easy Cooking Summer

Maybe it’s the end of summer, maybe it’s the start of school, but the Dinner Sisters still don’t feel like starting up the oven just yet. Plus the sweet corn is still so good and there’s still enough light to eat outside at the end of the day. Blend together some Green Pea Hummus, cook some Orecchiette with Corn, Greens, and Ricotta or make a Vietnamese Shrimp Bowl with us and keep summer’s good times going.

Hummus is taken up a notch with the addition of green peas. We loved the bright color and thought this is another good excuse for a crackers, pita, hummus, and veggie platter for dinner.

  • We normally would recommend using Mary’s trick for a smooth hummus (see Episode 19 for details) but in this case the peas evened that out. In any case, it made for a quicker recipe. Which isn’t a bad thing.
  • The bright green color is very pretty- but maybe bright enough for a Halloween party.
  • Serve this a healthy afternoon snack or as part of a dinner board with vegetarian slant. Think a pile of warm pita, sliced cucumbers, peppers, baby carrots, and roasted nuts. Maybe marinated feta, too?

You know that first red leaf you spot in a tree even though summer isn’t quite done? This dish is like that- a kiss of fall with bacon but still keeping it super summery with sweet corn and swiss chard. Make this on a night where you want to justify pasta and bacon with a whole lot of greens.

  • Orecchiette is the perfect pasta shape for this recipe- the cupped shape holds on to the corn so well.
  • Make sure to reserve the pasta water. Using it creates a little bit of a sauce to bind it all together.
  • We found the full eight cups of swiss chard was twice the amount in a typical bunch of swiss chard. We used the amount in a typical bunch and it was enough for us.

Spring rolls are super fun to make at home. But even Kate will admit throwing ingredients into a bowl is easier and just as tasty. Shrimp and lots of veggies are mixed with a tangy mango dressing and plenty of refreshing herbs.

Orecchiete with Spring Greens in 25 Minutes Start to Finish

The way it works in our house is that I leave the recipe for whatever I am making for dinner sitting conspicuously on the kitchen counter. It’s the first thing Andrew sees when he gets home and walks into the kitchen. The only advance warning he ever has is on days when I know I’ll be serving Chicken. This is due to his undying loyalty to a restaurant near his office called “Chirping Chicken”. This loyalty comes from his having lost a lot of weight by consuming nothing but Chirping Chicken Caesar Salad for lunch for weeks on end. The weight is gone but the lure of the salad hasn’t. One night last week he did an eye roll when he spotted today’s recipe. It was only after eating this terrific-tasting dish with its Spring Greens and roasted almonds that he admitted his misgivings. And he did so while telling me that I absolutely had to wax poetic about how good this is for people who might think ‘meh’. I didn’t change its name. Instead I’m advertising its second virtue: The whole delicious dish takes no more than 15 minutes to make.

If I had to choose a favorite pasta Orecchiette would be close to the top of my list. I love these “little ears”, which is not only what they’re shaped like but also what their direct translation from Italian is. The ‘bowls’ of Orecchiette can be counted on to hold sauce while the tiny size of them means they never overwhelm the other ingredients you pair with them. They originated in the Italian province of Puglia, which is the heel of the boot of that country on maps. There they are almost always homemade and served as fresh pasta. The dry form, which is what I used here, is not as familiar in Italy. But De Cecco, my pasta supplier of record, does make them there and exports them to the US. In Puglia, the traditional dish is “Orecchiette alla Cime di Rapa”.

Cime de Rapa in Italy is broccoli rabe in the US. They’re generally dressed in a tomato based sauce and can include miniature meatballs and topped with a sprinkling of Ricotta Forte, a seasoned version of a sheep’s milk ricotta cheese. The seminal Italian cookbook “Il Cocchiaio d’argento” (The Silver Spoon) suggests Orecchiette are ideal for vegetable sauces of any kind. In today’s recipe, the sauce is limited to a cup of pasta water. It’s hard to imagine how much flavor there is here, hence Andrew’s admonishment to really sell hard on this one. Try it next time you’re pressed for time. I am fairly sure you will cook it again even when you’ve got all the time in the world. Here is the recipe.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • salt to taste
  • 8 ounces spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided, or as needed
  • 1 ¼ cups orecchiette pasta, or more to taste
  • ½ cup roughly chopped arugula, or to taste
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or to taste

Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion with a pinch of salt in hot oil until onion is soft and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir sausage into onions cook and stir until sausage is broken up and browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

Pour 1 1/2 cups chicken broth into sausage mixture and bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add orecchiette pasta cook and stir pasta in hot broth, adding remaining broth when liquid is absorbed, until pasta is cooked through and most of the broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Stir arugula into pasta-sausage mixture until arugula wilts. Ladle pasta into bowls and dust with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


Great light pasta recipe. Added about 1/4 lb sautéed ground Italian sausage to ramp up the flavor. Yum!

Excellent recipe for the family. Had to juggle a little with pans and cookie sheets but in the end it was a crowd pleaser and worth the effort. Next time around I will increase the garlic. Used seasoned crumbs which I won't again.

Made it as written. For breadcrumbs, we used panko. Loved it!

Very good flavors but a lot of prep and clean up (so many pans!) so maybe don't plan this dish for after work on a weeknight. I made this almost to the letter but added some fresh corn and used seven anchovies and four garlic cloves and it was delicious.

Excellent! As others did, I used a whole can of anchovies and skipped the blanching of the kale and added it raw and finely chopped instead. I made the bread crumbs on the chunky side and they gave it a nice textural interest. I will definitely make it again.

Yum! I took the advice of other reviewers: doubled the garlic, used a full 2 oz. can of anchovies and didn't blanch the kale before sautéing. All great suggestions! My preference is to leave out the breadcrumbs altogether and only sprinkle parm cheese as a topping (not mix it in). Also, next time I make it I wouldn't add salt--the anchovies were salty enough. Overall, a very easy, healthy and delicious dish. (BTW, I tried to give the dish 4 forks, but the site wouldn't let me so it's displayed as only 1 fork!)

This was an amazing recipe - the red peppers gave it just the right amount of kick and I liked the bread crumbs (which for me was left over stuffing cubes . ) and kale. I would definitely make this again, but I would look for shortcuts and ways to minimize how many pots and pans I used. Like another reviewer, I used the entire 2 ounce can of anchovies and it was great. I used the pasta I had on hand - which in my case wasn't the best choice because I had pasta everywhere, but it worked. Totally yummy - my husband and I both went back for a small helping of seconds! This site wouldn't let me give this recipe the 4 forks I r think it deserves!

This recipe is SO good. My whole family gobbled it up, even my 4-year-old. I left out all the breadcrumbs for sprinkling on top, along with more parmesan and red pepper flakes. My small town grocery store did not carry orecchiette, so I used medium shell pasta instead. Fantastic. MAKE THIS!

YUM! So happy my friend told me about this recipe. It is such an interesting combination of flavors - hearty yet healthy. I did not blanch the kale, but rather sauteed it in the oil/anchovy/garlic until coated/starting to wilt, then tossed in some water & chardonnay and covered it to steam on low - about 10 min total. Then just added everything else to it. So easy and so delicious!

Really good. I substituted capers for anchioves because that's what I had on hand, and didn't put any additional water in. It's mostly the parmesean and bread crumbs that made this.

This was so good! I went ahead and put an entire 2 oz. can of anchovies in there as well as 5 or 6 garlic cloves, and I'm so glad I did! I didn't use fresh bread for the bread crumbs, just the container kind, and they worked great. In fact, because they were more finely ground, they adhered better to the sauce.

I made this vegan style simply because of what I had in my kitchen that day. Made it with Earth Balance instead of butter skipped the parmesan cheese and anchovy. I also used Japanese panko breadcrumbs. It was SO delicious and now I'm more open to kale recipes (a new frontier for me). I loved the garlic-Earth Balance_panko bread crumb_kale_pasta combo. Very tasty both warm and even cold the next day.

I made this for the two of us, reducing kale, pasta and butter by half. Great recipe for using up some of the abundance of kale I had in the garden.

Has potential. But the breadcrumbs are too much. Don't mix in the 1/2 c. breadcrumbs, just finish with some on top and you'll be much happier. Iɽ make this again if I left out the breadcrumbs. It has a good flavor and is an excellent way to eat greens.

Delicious, easy,fast, home run. The anchovies we had on hand had red pepper flakes in the olive oil so we had an extra little kick. Very good, look forward to making again.

So good! I used anchovy paste instead of anchovies because that's what I had. I agree with other reviewers--don't skimp on the anchovies. It makes this so delicious. My 10 year old even liked it.

This was a huge winner at our house. We love Kale, Anchovies, and Parmesan so that was a good start. I doubled the anchovies and would consider adding even more. Definitely no less. I added a 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts to the breadcrumb mixture. Iɽ do that again as well. Make sure to reserve the pasta water. The recipe needs at least some of that moisture. I also bumped the garlic to 4 cloves. We'll be making this a lot.

Liked this dish a lot - it is a good, healthy, meatless dish. I followed the advice of others and increased both the anchovies and garlic. Will make this again.

I found the dish okay, but the breadcrumbs are spectacular. Will probably not be making this dish again.

Really, really good! I took others suggestions and added an extra anchovy fillet. The flavor was fab! Great, healthy and hearty dish!

Yummy use of kale, which is tasty and healthy. I added a handful of pine nuts to the bread crumbs for extra protein.

This recipe is tasty! Even my 4 yo liked the tasty crunchy texture and taste! I used a large package of baby kale, only 4 T of olive oil and added a couple extra anchovies. I did not blanch the kale and feel that may be an extra step that was not needed. Very easy and from things we had in the pantry!

brilliant recipe. easy. the only changes i would make next time is add more anchovies, we wanted to taste them, i know not everyone feels this way. oh and i added more garlic. all agreed it was yum!

brilliant recipe. super easy and elegant. family said it was like something you would find in a high end italian restaurant. the only change i would make next time is add a few more anchovies. we like them and really wanted it to stand out more. four we could not taste at all, which might please other people i understand!in the end we each grabbed a few whole ones left from the tin and added them to our plates. it was yum! i also most likely added more garlic but that always happens.

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                Orecchiette with Dandelion Greens and Chickpeas

                This rustic dish captures the Southern Italian delight in balancing assertive flavors: the bitterness of dandelion greens, heat of crushed red pepper, sharpness of ricotta salata, and subtle sweetness of currants. Serve as a first course, if you like, but bear in mind that it’s nutritionally well balanced enough to make a great one-dish meal.

                The big, fruity profile of a Negroamaro from Southern Italy is needed to temper the bitterness and spice of this pasta dish recommended producers include Tormaresca, Taurino and Vigne & Vini.

                • 2 to 3 whole canned plum tomatoes with their juice (about 1 cup)
                • 1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
                • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
                • 1 small onion, sliced
                • 4 slices (about 1/3 cup) pancetta, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
                • Kosher or sea salt
                • 1 bunch dandelion greens, stemmed, or broccoli rabe.
                • 1 pound orecchiette
                • Crushed red pepper flakes
                • 2 cups crumbled ricotta salata
                • 2 tablespoons dried currants
                • 1/4 cup pine nuts or almonds, toasted

                Combine the tomatoes and half of the chickpeas in a food processor with 1 cup water process until smooth.

                Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and pancetta, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add the rest of the chickpeas and cook a minute or two longer. Stir in the puréed chickpea mixture. Reduce the heat until the mixture is barely simmering.

                Meanwhile, combine 6 quarts water with 2 tablespoons salt in a large pan. Bring to a boil. Cook the dandelion greens a minute or two just until limp remove with tongs and cool under running water. Add the pasta to the boiling water, stirring well. While it cooks, roughly chop the dandelion greens (makes about 2 packed cups). Stir the greens into the chickpea sauce. Add salt and crushed red pepper to taste.

                When the orecchiette are al dente, reserve about a cup of the cooking liquid, then drain. Return the pasta to the pan and mix in the sauce, adding pasta water as needed for a saucy consistency. Stir in half of the ricotta salata and all of the currants. Spoon the pasta into shallow soup bowls, and sprinkle the remaining ricotta salata and the pine nuts on top. Serve at once.

                Soy-Butter Basted Scallops With Wilted Greens and Sesame

                Bryan Gardner for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

                This simple dish was inspired by a recipe for steamed scallop and butter rice found in “Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking” (Ten Speed, 2015) by Naoko Takei Moore and Kyle Connaughton. Here, sweet sea scallops are seared in a hot pan and basted with melted butter and soy sauce to finish cooking. Tender greens are sautéed in garlic oil, then the scallops are placed on top and everything is drizzled with the remaining soy-butter and a bit of sesame oil. Finish the dish with a good squeeze of lime, thinly sliced scallions and a smattering of sesame seeds. It’s wonderful served over steamed white rice, so be sure to get that on the stove before you begin cooking the scallops, as the rest of the meal comes together in no time at all.

                How to Make Chicken Meatballs in Cream Sauce

                Make Baked Mini Meatballs – My secret to moist and tender chicken meatballs is to pack the ground chicken with shredded onion, Panko soaked in milk, and sour cream. They turn out amazing every single time!

                • To make the meatballs, you let the Panko soak in milk for few minutes, then add the rest of the meatball ingredients to the Panko. Let stand for 5-10 minutes and roll into 1 1/4-inch meatballs.
                • Place on a baking sheet and broil for 4-5 minutes or until lightly golden. Make sure not to cook them all the way through so they can finish cooking in the sauce.

                Cook the Pasta – While the meatballs are in the oven, get going on the pasta.

                • Follow the directions on the back of the box for cooking the pasta until al dente.
                • My biggest tip would be to thoroughly season the water with salt before adding the pasta. Your dish will turn out way more flavorful if the pasta is adequately seasoned from the start.

                Prepare the Sauce – Start on the sauce when the meatballs are out of the oven and pasta is cooked. The sauce comes together quickly so it helps to have everything ready before starting.

                • But all you do it heat the pasta sauce in a deep skillet. Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer.

                • Then add in the meatballs, tossing to coat with the sauce. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and meatballs are cooked through.
                • Stir in cooked pasta and some of the reserved pasta water. Give it a couple good stirs and add the mozzarella. Garnish with parsley or basil before serving. I also like to add a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese but it is optional.


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