Fresh Pappardelle with Spinach and Lemon

We’re fortunate to have access to some great fresh pasta (when we don’t have time to make our own).  Santa Cruz Pasta Factory makes a vegan version that works for my egg-free husband.  This dish is a marriage of fresh spinach and lemon — two more devoted culinary partners you’ll never meet. The secret ingredient here is the lemon zest.  The tiny bits (almost invisible to the eye) add surprising pops of zippy lemon flavor that balances with the soft, neutral ricotta.  If you can’t find fresh ricotta (not the supermarket variety) substitute goat cheese or Parmesan. Just about any green you have on hand will work here, just adjust the cooking time accordingly (spinach is a fast sauté). Continue reading

Easy Chinese-style Noodles

Our youngest whipped these yummy noodles up today. It’s her mid-winter break, so there’s extra time for cooking together. Her inspiration was a sauce found in Honest Pretzels by Molly Katzen — but she improvised. That’s her way in the kitchen. These noodles offer the perfect destination for those button mushrooms and tender petite carrots we received in yesterday’s delivery. Toss in any greens you have. Continue reading

Easy Ravioli with Chard and Fresh Ricotta Filling

(6 servings)
Making pasta by hand is one of our favorite family activities, but when we’re short on time and have a hankering for fresh ravioli we turn to an easy shortcut: prepared wonton skins. You’ll find these handy squares in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores. They’re not as good as homemade pasta sheets, but perfect in a pinch. Precut in just the right size for a turnover triangle, if you tuck the two points opposite the right angle together you have a tortelli-wonton look-alike.

The creamy ricotta-chard filling is simple and full of flavor. Substitute store-bought ricotta if you don’t have time to make your own, but seek out fresh if you can. Bellwether Farms makes a great one.

You can freeze uncooked ravioli by dusting with a bit of semolina (or all-purpose) flour and layering in a plastic container. Use within a couple of months.


  • One package wonton skins
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch chard or spinach, stems removed
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Tomato pasta sauce, preferably homemade, for serving
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  1. For filling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add chard to the pan and cook until completely wilted. Remove from pan and chop finely.
  2. In a bowl, combine ricotta, egg, nutmeg and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  3.  Add chopped greens and mix to combine.
  4. Lay won ton skins flat on a clean counter.
  5. Place a dollop of filling on one square.  Moisten two adjacent edges of the square with water and fold the square in half to create a triangle.  Press the edges to securely seal.  Repeat for all of the squares.
  6. Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add a large pinch of salt.
  7. Warm pasta sauce in another pan.
  8. Carefully add as many ravioli as you like to the pot.  Usually about 6-8 per person is sufficient.  Turn down the heat so the water is no longer boiling, but remains just at a simmer.  Boiling water will cause the delicate triangles to burst open and lose their filling.  Cook for about 2-4 minutes until al dente (a taste test is the best way to check).
  9. Using a slotted spoon remove ravioli from pot and place into individual serving bowls.  Add a drizzle of good-quality olive oil on top, a large spoonful or two of tomato sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan.  Enjoy.

Pan-fried Chinese Noodles

Serve these addictive noodles with any brothy stir-fry on top.

(Serves 6-8)


  • 1 pound fresh linguine (or Chinese lo mein)
  • 8 tablespoons peanut  or canola oil


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove.  Gently separate the noodles and add them to the pot.  Stir, continuing to gently separate.  Cook for specified amount of time, less a minute or so.  Drain and rinse under cool water.  Toss with a tablespoon or so of oil to prevent sticking.  Set aside.
  2. Just before serving, add remaining oil to a large wok and heat over medium-high.  When hot, add the noodles and carefully spread to cover the bottom of the pan.  Fry for about 4-5 minutes until beginning to turn golden-brown.  Carefully turn the entire noodle pile, all at once.  Do this by using two spatulas – one to flip from one side, while pushing with the other on the opposite side.  It won’t matter if the noodles don’t keep the round shape of the wok – but nice if they do.
  3. When done, slide the “cake” out onto a large, deep platter and top with a saucy vegetable stir-fry of your choice.