Wednesday ‘Hump Day’ problem – what to cook when your fridge looks as about as inspiring as the lyrics to Justin Bieber song?
The solution tonight, tender Swiss chard, creamy ricotta cheese, a hint of chilli and lemon tousled with fresh egg pappadelle pasta, plenty of crunchy golden breadcrumbs and a sprinkling of crispy fried capers.
Topped off with an oozy free range egg that has been lightly boiled, de-shelled and sprinkled with breadcrumbs and flashed under a hot grill to turn crispy and golden.
Fresh flavours from a few simple ingredients. Fabulous – and just what you need for a quick weekday supper.
2 thick pieces of stale sourdough bread
¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
4 organic, free range eggs
2 tbsp baby capers, rinsed and dried
3 cups Swiss chard, sliced
350g fresh egg pappadelle pasta
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Zest of half a lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
Dried red chilli pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
½ tbsp organic unsalted butter
Preheat grill to 200C
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and carefully place in the eggs. Cook for approx. 4-5 minutes. Remove from water using a slotted spoon and carefully place in ice water. Let the eggs cool slightly before removing their shells. Place eggs on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the pieces of bread to make breadcrumbs. Transfer breadcrumbs to a separate bowl. Add walnuts, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine.
Take about 1/3 of the breadcrumb mix and transfer to separate bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle evenly over each egg. Place the baking tray in the fridge until ready to grill the eggs.
In a small frypan, quickly fry off the baby capers in a little oil until they are crispy. Remove from pan and transfer to piece of paper towel. Set aside.
In the same frypan, add a little extra oil and toss in the remaining breadcrumb mix. Cook until crispy and golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
In a medium sized pan, add the butter and a little olive oil. Add the garlic and chopped shallot and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the Swiss chard along with a little water and cook for 5 minutes, until the chard has wilted. Remove from pan and roughly chop again. Set aside.
Take the eggs from the fridge and pop under the grill for 5 minutes, until the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown. Remove and set aside.
Bring a pot of well-salted water to the boil. Add the fresh pappadelle and cook to al dente. Drain and reserve some of the cooking water.
Combine the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses in a small bowl. Add the lemon zest, juice, salt and red pepper flakes.
Return the chopped chard to the pan and add the cheese mixture. Mix well. Add the cooked pappadelle and some of the pasta water as needed.
Divide pasta evenly between four serving plates, sprinkle with golden breadcrumbs, crispy capers and top with an oozy poached egg. Finish with a little extra lemon zest and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.