Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pasta with Swiss Chard, Ricotta and True Love

Although I haven't posted in quite some time, I was so moved by my daughter's Valentine's blog  post, a beautiful homage to her grandparents, that I simply had to share it with you. The original post appears at  .

 

 Her Italian Clark Gable

A few days ago I spent an evening with my Nonna. It’s rare that we find ourselves sharing some time and space together without any other family members in the mix, but on this particular night, circumstances lined up in such a way that it was just her and I. Nonna and nipote.
We put together a simple dinner – pasta with Swiss chard and ricotta – teasing each other about the “right” way to make it, a sort of a ping-ponging of questions and answers wherein I attempt (quite unsuccessfully) to enforce my points in broken dialect. We discuss the merits of handmade ricotta versus store-bought; she chops some chard and I watch over the garlic frying on the stove. Side-by-side in her kitchen, we reminisce about little details, many about my grandfather – how he liked his pasta cooked into oblivion; how he used to always help himself to seconds; how much he loved having people over for dinner, with a carafe of his homemade wine stationed on the table. His wine was practically undrinkable and we always complained that the pasta was overcooked – but we were happy.
Nonno didn’t talk much during meals, often telling us we talked too much between mouthfuls, but he still found moments to inject a zinger or two into the conversation – usually something he knew would get a rise out of my grandmother, who would respond with a small, but swift whack to the back of his head. Without fail, he would peel into laughter and Nonna would shake her head, playfully lamenting: “Oh Lord, give me patience.”
gnocchislowres
The way they interacted was, to me, completely unique. It was integral to who they were as a couple and as partners, and inseparable from my memory of them as grandma and grandpa. We often think that romance is the first thing to disappear in a marriage, especially one that is decades old. But even in their late age, I would sometimes find him bringing her coffee in bed or holding her hand. They were simple gestures, but ones that were nonetheless tangible reminders of their love for one another; they were gestures that slipped inconspicuously into their day-to-day, even in their last ones together.
Nonna&NonnoThe soul of that relationship lives on every time I talk to my grandmother about Nonno. She speaks about him with such tenderness. My mom once joked that he was her Italian Clark Gable. He no doubt drove her crazy in moments too – but when you strip it all down, what remains is the affirmation of a true partnership, one rooted in whole-hearted devotion and capable of withstanding the worst of life’s adversities.
As I sit with Nonna at the dinner table, I recognize the love she had for him. I also recognize the love I have for her and how spending this time by her side fills my heart with a warmth that is pure and unspoken and unparalleled.
Happy Valentine’s, Nonna. Ti amo. x
—–
Pasta with Swiss Chard and Ricotta – serves 2
  • 1/2 bunch Swiss chard
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • about 1/4 tsp dried pepperoncini flakes
  • olive oil
  • 1/3 lb dry fettucine (or linguini)
  • about 1 cup fresh ricotta
Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Wash chard and dry well (a salad-spinner works best). Remove large ribs (the white part at the base of each leaf) and chop the leaves. Set aside.
Removing ribs from chard
Once the pot of water has reached the boil, add a handful of sea salt. When the water has reached a rolling boil, add the pasta. Cook uncovered until al dente, being careful to stir every so often.
Put about about 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pan set on the stove on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the onion and fry until transluscent. Add the garlic and pepperoncini flakes and fry for about 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant and lightly golden (but not browned). Then add the chopped chard and sauté for 3-4 minutes*.
(*you can add a bit of the pasta water to help steam the chard.)
Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the chard. Move the pasta around the pan (tongs work best) to coat with the chard mixture.
Pasta with chardServe in pasta bowls with a generous dollop of fresh ricotta and a drizzle of your best olive oil (and a few flecks of Maldon salt – but don’t tell Nonna).
Note: a nice alternative is to lightly broil the ricotta on the pasta before serving (see image below). Set the oven on broil at 500°F. Once you’ve mixed the pasta and chard, spoon it into a baking dish and add a layer of ricotta on top. Broil on center rack for about 2-3 minutes or until cheese is golden.
(btw: these photos do not reflect the true colours of this dish – it was late, the lighting was low, and I barely know how to use my camera.)
Pasta, chard & ricotta

70 comments:

  1. che bella ricetta Anna, un abbraccio !

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great story and the recipe looks amazing. Thanks for sharing :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi there,

    We've recently launched the site www.canadiandishes.com, where users can search through hundreds of thousands of recipes from Canadian food sites and food blogs.

    We’ve noticed that you have a great number of tasty, original recipes on your site and we would like to suggest you to have a look at our Top Food Blogs section here:
    http://www.canadiandishes.com/top-food-blogs

    If you want to add your food blog to the list and have your recipes indexed on Canadiandishes.com all you have to do is follow the instructions here: http://www.canadiandishes.com/add-your-food-blog
    Our concept is already live in Mexico, US, France, Italy and Spain amongst others. We deliver thousands of visitors to food blogs daily. Some of the top food blogs receive 10,000+ visitors from us on a weekly basis.

    We hope you will join us and your food blog will be up there in the top!

    Warm regards,
    Christina
    www.canadiandishes.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Haha! Sorry, it's late and just now I realized it was your daughter who posted it. So I changed my comment:
    Awww... What a cute post, Anna! Your daughter made me want to meet your Mom. So happy to see you posting again (even if it was a 'stolen' post from your daughter's blog). I missed it. Oh, and the pasta looks simply delicious!!! I guess I'll have to give it a try ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hola Ana muy linda receta me gsutaría probar,hugs,hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi annastable,

    I have just sent you a message through email regarding our project.
    We MyTaste.com one of the biggest recipe search engine in United States and in the world, would like to invite your blog to be featured on our site and make your recipes available to many people.

    If you like it, you can join through this link www.mytaste.com/add-your-food-blog.

    This is one way to share your recipes to the world and it can also help you to increase your blog traffic.

    Full information has been sent to your email.

    Best regards,

    ReplyDelete
  7. Glad to see you back! I missed your posts!

    Frankie (from Artisan Lifestyle)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello!

    I saw your blog and thought it had great recipes and awesome pictures! I therefore would like to invite you to our new culinary website which has just started.

    This is how it works in short. TastyQuery.com is a website for food bloggers and their fans allowing them to automatically collect recipes from your food blog. It's a large database of links to recipes on food blogs. Everyone can join us for free.

    For more please visit:
    http://tastyquery.com

    TastyQuery.com is an English version of our main website called "Mikser Kulinarny", founded in Poland. "Mikser Kulinarny" has a large audience (over 2 mln unique visitors monthly) and with TastyQuery.com we want to repeat that success and drive thousands of new visitors to your food blog.

    In case of any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

    best regards

    Ania, TastyQuery.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm appreciate your writing skill. Please keep on working hard. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I believe this is among the so much important information for me. And i am glad reading your article. 파워볼 하는법

    ReplyDelete
  11. Appreciate it for this post, I am a big fan of this internet site would like to keep updated. 온라인경마

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey Nice Blog Post Please Check Out This Link for purchase 파친코사이트

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you , this is really useful information towards my assessment. 스포츠토토

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful info particularly the ultimate section �� I take care of such information a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck. 토토

    ReplyDelete
  15. The post is written in very a good manner and it contains many useful information for me. 카지노사이트

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for sharing a nice article really such a wonderful site you have done a great job once more thanks a lot 스포츠토토링크

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am pleased that I observed this site, exactly the right information that I was searching for! 포커게임

    ReplyDelete
  18. Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates.

    슬롯머신사이트

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really like what you guys tend to be up too.
    This kind of clever work and exposure! Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to our blogroll.카지노사이트탑

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great article I enjoy reading your thoughts. More power to your website. Please visit mine too 바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  21. Niceee!I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here! 룰렛

    ReplyDelete
  22. Je ideálny čas urobiť si nejaké plány do budúcnosti a je čas byť šťastný. Čítal som tento príspevok a ak by som mohol, chcel by som vám navrhnúť nejaké zaujímavé veci alebo tipy. Možno by ste mohli napísať ďalšie články odkazujúce na tento článok. Chcem si o tom prečítať viac vecí!


    https://www.betmantoto.pro

    ReplyDelete

  23. Very nice post and blog, I found it very explanatory and informative, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us.

    Pinbahis
    Hiltonbet
    Jojobet
    İmajbet
    Aresbet
    Maltcasino




    ReplyDelete
  24. I have been checking out many of your stories and i can claim pretty clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your site.


    https://www.totosafeguide.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Very nice post and blog, I found it very explanatory and informative, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us.

    Venüsbet
    Venüsbet
    Grandbetting
    Grandbetting

    ReplyDelete
  26. I found it very explanatory and informative, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us.

    Hiltonbet
    Hiltonbet
    Meritking
    Meritking

    ReplyDelete
  27. Bu web sitesini hızlı bir şekilde ziyaret etmek ve tüm meslektaşların görüşlerini okumak harika.
    Bu yazının konusu hakkında, aynı zamanda aşinalık kazanmaya da hevesliyim.


    https://www.safecasinosite.net

    ReplyDelete
  28. .Every second spent with you is a second full of happiness and laughter
    .You are such a huge part of my life, and the main reason of my stable mental health
    .I’m so lucky to have you
    .I feel really blessed. دانلود آهنگ جدید

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great article. Thanks for sharing this blog.
    Have a woderful day تزریقات در منزل

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi there, I simply hopped over in your website by way of StumbleUpon. Now not one thing I’d typically learn, but I favored your emotions none the less. Thank you for making something worth reading. 메이저사이트순위

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you for taking the time to share such a great article with us. I was impressed by the polite posting. How to Solve Roblox not Launching Issue ? also, If you are part of the Roblox platform and forget your password. Then you recover your password using Roblox Password Finder and get back your account.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next. 먹튀검증업체

    ReplyDelete
  33. Many thanks for the article, I have a lot of spray lining knowledge but always learn something new. Keep up the good work and thank you again. 먹튀사이트

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've been searching for hours on this topic and finally found your post. casinocommunity, I have read your post and I am very impressed. We prefer your opinion and will visit this site frequently to refer to your opinion. When would you like to visit my site?

    ReplyDelete
  35. I accidentally searched and visited your site. I still saw several posts during my visit, but the text was neat and readable. I will quote this post and post it on my blog. Would you like to visit my blog later? 토토사이트순위

    ReplyDelete
  36. I didn t know there was a place like this. I think it s good because there are many good comments. Let s get along well from now on. 카지노먹튀

    ReplyDelete
  37. I ve been recommended this site by an acquaintance.I hope it helps. 먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  38. I ve been recommended this site by an acquaintance.I hope it helps. 먹튀검증사이트

    ReplyDelete
  39. I ve known about this place for a while and I ve been visiting. There are still only good words and they are helpful. 먹튀검증사이트

    ReplyDelete
  40. This is the perfect post. It helped me a lot. If you have time,
    I hope you come to my site and share your opinions. Have a nice day. 토토

    ReplyDelete
  41. It gives immense knowledge on physical education, it is very helpful and quite generous to spread a good message 안전토토

    ReplyDelete
  42. From one day, I noticed that many people post a lot of articles related to Among 토토
    I think your article is the best among them

    ReplyDelete
  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your blog has helped me a lot.
    Please also visit my blog to get the information you need.
    먹튀폴리스

    ReplyDelete
  45. I found the best website. Get new information through this blog.
    토토사이트

    ReplyDelete