Creamy lemon pappardelle with wilted greens and breadcrumbs. It’s a delicious, simple, satisfying mouthful.
Something about thick pappardelle noodles instantly elevates a dish. They look so elegant on a plate, and pasta sauces cling deliciously to them. If you can get your hands on fresh pappardelle noodles from a nearby market, I’d highly recommend giving those a try! Otherwise, I really love this brand that sells dried pappardelle and is sold at retailers nationwide.
A few notes on this recipe – I love to use a leafy green such as bloomsdale spinach, which is often available at my local farmer’s market. I chop up the stems and sauté them with shallots and garlic to add some earthiness to this dish. Another leafy green with a stem to cook down, like swiss chard, is a great option, and soft fresh spinach that you can find at any market will do the trick as well. Additionally, if you’d like to make this a completely vegan recipe, use olive oil instead of butter, and sub in a vegan cream cheese in place of goat cheese.
- 6 Ounces papparadelle noodles
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil, divided (1 T for breadcrumbs, 1 T for pasta)
- ⅓ Cup of panko breadcrumbs
- 1 Shallot, finely diced
- 2 Cloves garlic, finely diced
- ½ Pound bloomsdale spinach, stems included and diced (Chard leaves and stems work, as well as regular soft spinach)
- 2 Teaspoons lemon zest (about the zest of one lemon)
- Juice of ½ of a lemon
- 4 Ounces goat cheese (your favorite creamy dairy free or vegan sub would work, like Kite Hill's cream cheese)
- Up to 1 Cup pasta water
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Freshly grated Parm
- Crushed red chili flakes
- Bring heavily salted water to a boil. While the water comes to a boil, prepare the rest of the dish.
- In a medium sized skillet over medium heat, add butter or olive oil, panko breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and stir to evenly combine. Cook until the breadcrumbs are slightly golden brown and toasted, and transfer breadcrumbs to a bowl.
- Wipe out the skillet you toasted the breadcrumbs in, and over medium heat add butter or olive oil, and when hot, add the diced shallot and cook until translucent and soft. Add the diced up stems from the bloomsdale spinach or chard, and cook until soft. (tender spinach from the grocery will not have stems that need chopping or additional cooking time.)
- When the stems have softened in the pan, add the diced garlic, and leafy spinach to the skillet (if you're using chard, roughly chop the leaves), and cook until the leaves have just started to wilt down. Season with salt. Turn off heat.
- When the water is boiling, add your noodles. Cook the noodles just shy of al dente, or just before they are done, they're going to finish cooking in the skillet!
- Fill up a cup with the pasta water, and set it aside. Heat the skillet back up over medium heat, and add the pasta, goat cheese, lemon zest and juice, and about ? cup of that pasta water you saved. Stir until everything is creamy and combined. Add more pasta water as needed to loosen up the sauce and make it creamy. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. If you want more lemon, squeeze more fresh lemon juice from the second half of your lemon into the dish and stir.
- Divide up onto two plates, and top each plate with toasted breadcrumbs, freshly cracked black pepper, and freshly grated Parm and crushed red chili flakes if you want. Enjoy!