I had never heard of "misticanza" until a few months ago while reading an article about springtime in Italy. Basically, "misticanza" is Italian for mixed wild herbs, generally tossed together in a salad. The word came across my mind again this week, creeping up on dinnertime, and all I could think was that I wanted to eat some greens. Like right now.
So, dinner was decided then. Rigatoni tossed with creamy ricotta, garlic sliced and fried just until golden brown, and whatever greens I could get my hands on (we only had arugula in the refrigerator so I used that) quickly wilted in that same pan with the remnants of the garlic oil, generously sprinkled with sea salt and freshly grated parmesan. To round out the dinner plate, I added a bruschetta, of sorts, that my husband and I love, with garlic, fresh tomatoes, basil, and a squeeze of lemon. Tasty. Simple. Wholesome.
(And, until I actually go to Italy, hastily cobbled together yet delicious concoctions such as these are more than enough. For now.)
Rigatoni with Ricotta and Wilted Garlicky Greens
You will need:
Half a 12 oz. box of dried rigatoni (or any short pasta),
4 tablespoons ricotta
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 semi-packed cups greens (I used arugula)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
sea salt - to taste
freshly grated parmesan - to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and toss with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Set aside in a large serving bowl.
Heat remaining oil in a small frying pan on medium. Add the garlic slices, and fry just until golden brown (took about a minute on my stove). Then add the greens and let them wilt, this should take another minute. Add this, the ricotta, and pepper to the pasta and give it a good stir until the ricotta is well incorporated and it all comes together. Serve with sea salt and parmesan. Enjoy!
Note: if you have any of this leftover, it is better to eat it cold or at room temperature rather than heated.