I love chimichurri sauce. The bright green color and subtle spiciness are perfect with steamed fish or grilled skirt steak. I’ve wanted to incorporate this delicious green sauce into a vegetarian dish for some time now to share with my husband Lulu.
So, I made a dish of fettuccine pasta with a creamy white sauce and served it with a little chimichurri sauce. The creaminess of the white sauce is made with ricotta cheese and it matches wonderfully with the garlic and herb flavor of the chimicurri. It’s a healthy alternative to fettuccine alfredo that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
1. Info for Ricotta Pasta with Chimichurri
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 8
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for Ricotta Pasta with Chimichurri
- 1 (16-ounce) package fettuccine pasta
- 2-½ teaspoons salt
- 1 bunch curly parsley
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (see tips)
- 1 Anaheim green pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 bay leaf, finely chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)
- 1-¼ cups olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 9 tablespoons butter, diced
- 4-1/3 cups milk, warmed for 2 minutes in the microwave
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese (3/4 cup)
- Keeping a bright green color: Blanch (dip for 10 seconds in boiling water then transfer to an ice-cold bath) the parsley, drain and pat dry on a paper towel. Roughly chop; you’ll get approximately 1 cup of greens.
- Roasting peppers (check the tip section for the oven method): Cut the stem off the Anaheim pepper. Wash the pepper, pat dry and brush with oil. Place a grill on your stove and char all the skin of the pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes until you can handle it without discomfort. Clean the pepper using a knife; the skin will come right off. Seed it and finely chop the flesh.
- In a mini-food processor or mini-blender, combine the blanched, chopped parsley, the ginger garlic paste, lime juice, roasted chile pepper, bay leaf, paprika and ground coriander. Pulse and slowly add about ½ to 3/4 cup of olive oil until it becomes a thick paste. Season with sea salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a 1-pint jar, cover with about 1/3 cup of olive oil and store in the refrigerator; it will store up to 2 weeks.
- Bring about 8 quarts of water to a boil. Add the pasta, bring back to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle boil. That way the pasta is cooked all the way through evenly. Cook the pasta for about 10-12 minutes total. Salt (with 2/3 teaspoon) the water half-way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the pasta and the pasta will be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom. It may take longer than the cooking time that’s written on the box.
- When the pasta is cooked (cooked inside and out but still in shape and firm), reserve about 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta (do NOT rinse). Transfer it to a large flat platter or into a colander.
- In a large non-stick sauté pan, heat the rest of the olive oil. Add the chopped onions and cook until they’re slightly golden. Add the garlic, cook for another 2 minutes. Add the fettuccine pasta and 1 tablespoons of butter. Toss the pasta using tongs for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If the pasta starts sticking to the bottom, add the reserved pasta water. Transfer to a large serving platter.
- In a saucepan, melt 8 tablespoons of butter over medium-low; you don’t want the butter to burn. Bring the heat back up to medium-high (the butter should be hot and golden) and add the flour. Keep stirring manually with a whisk for approximately 3 minutes. The flour should absorb the butter instantly and form a paste. Add the warm milk in 3 stages; stir well until incorporated. Increase the heat while constantly stirring for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add the ricotta cheese. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce rest until it’s time to assemble the dish.
- Assembly time: When you’re ready to serve, bring the chimichurri sauce back to room temperature. Stir well.
- I served the dish family style. I placed the large platter of warm fettuccine pasta with a large bowl of the ricotta creamy sauce and the jar of chimichurri sauce on the side. Everyone helped themselves to their own pasta bowl, starting with the fettuccine, a ladleful of ricotta sauce, and then finally the chimichurri.
- Bon appétit!