Pasta with Ricotta and Brussels Sprouts
look in your fridge and then google ingredients until the internet tells you what to eat
things you’ll need: brussels sprouts, lemon, ricotta, onion, pasta, salt, pepper, and whatever you want to zhuzh it up
the internet told me to make this recipe from Martha Rose Shulman at The New York Times, but it’s a basic technique that I’ve used with goat cheese for Lemony Goat Cheese and White Bean Pasta with Asparagus and also Pasta with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto, but also with feta in Farfalle with roasted tomatoes, wilted arugula, feta, and leftover chicken, so I didn’t use the recipe as much as I went, “Yeah, let’s make that” and then did
incidentally vegetarian, gluten-free if you sub gluten-free noodles and vegan if you sub for vegan ricotta or a white bean purée or just leave it out
Burnout is real. Whether this was a big week or you made it through another week of things that you make it through every week, executive brain function sputters to a halt and you are also hungry… again.
You make very few good decisions while hungry that are not based on rage or utter despair. Not that you have ever stared into your refrigerator, shoving cheese into your mouth, while gently weeping because it’s up to you to turn a bunch of random fridge contents into something resembling a meal because of course that’s YOUR job to figure out along with the rest of everyone’s projects and if CoWorker Stupidname would just do what they are supposed to be doing instead of calling another meeting about nothing then you wouldn’t have spent the whole day with your shirt on backward, or whatever.
Luckily there are brussels sprouts leftover from the Brussels Sprout and Apple Salad you made last week. It looks like the ricotta you bought however long ago (time means nothing anymore) is still within its use-by date. So, you turn to the internet machine which, inevitably, tells you to make pasta. Sounds good, internet!
(No brussels sprouts, use whatever veggies you have like mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, spinach, chard, winter squash, etc.)
Put on a pot of well-seasoned (salty like the ocean) pasta water and let it come to a boil while you dice up the remnants of onion from some other meal. Maybe you were lucky enough to leave your body for a few minutes while you were slicing brussels sprouts for your salad and now you have a surplus of pre-sliced sprouts. If not, just trim the bottoms and quarter them because it’s faster and you should probably limit the amount of knife handling right now, not that you have ever thought about murder or anything because that would be crazy right?
In a pan, heat up a little butter and/or oil and sauté your onions until translucent. Toss in your b-sprouts and let them cook, relatively undisturbed, for 5 -10 minutes until the edges brown or charr to your liking. Remove from heat and set aside.
Mix ½-¾ cup-ish of ricotta with some lemon zest, salt, pepper, and whatever herbs you have on hand. Taste. Add chives, garlic, chili flake, or whatever you think it needs.
Once your water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente. Before you drain the noodles, reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.
A tablespoon at a time, add hot pasta water to your ricotta mix until it is creamy. Toss the pasta with the ricotta mix in the pan of b-sprouts, adding a little more water if needed to loosen it up as needed, and cook until everything is warm and well-mixed.
If you are feeding other people, maybe take a few bites before you try having a conversation. When it’s so good that you are all content to make happy grunts at each other between bites as your brains come back online, thank the internet for not being all bad.
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