We received a lovely gift of two cookbooks by Nigel Slater a few years ago, Ripe and Tender. If you’re not familiar, Nigel Slater is a food writer based in London. He’s also an avid gardener, and the pictures in the book of his house and garden will make you want to move right in.
These books have become one of our go-to sources for healthy and delicious vegetable dishes, and we’ve often been surprised by how much we like the dishes that contain vegetables we wouldn’t normally use. This creamy pasta with winter greens is a great way to use any type of bitter greens. We used broccolini in this version.
We won’t file this under “healthy” recipes, but it’s definitely delicious (and perfect for chilly evenings). This dish is based on one of our favorite pasta shapes, orecchiette, served in a warm blue cheese and cream sauce. Even though this dish uses six ounces of gorgonzola cheese, we’re pretty sure it’s better for you than any packaged mac and cheese!
The recipe in the book uses blanched greens, but we’ve found through testing this several times that sauteeing them works just as well and gives you more control over the consistency. For the best results, use good Spanish anchovies. We buy these and love them.
We highly recommend this book. Get it and let us know what recipes are your favorite.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil This recipe comes together really quickly, so you can cook the pasta while you cook the greens and sauce. Drop the orecchiette into the boiling water and set a timer for two minutes less than the package instructions.
- Melt the butter in a saute pan large enough to hold all of the greens. When the pan is hot, add the garlic and cook just until it begins to soften, then add the greens. When the greens begin to soften, add the anchovies and blue cheese. Stir frequently to melt the blue cheese. Add the creme fraiche and stir until the sauce is creamy. Salt to taste. If the pasta is not finished by this time, reduce the heat and keep warm.
- When the pasta is finished, reserve a half cup of the pasta cooking water and strain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce, along with a splash of pasta cooking water. Simmer for about two minutes, or until the pasta is perfectly done. Season with salt if necessary and serve immediately.