I’ve got this trick – it’s a pasta trick – where I remix and combine favorite salads and favorite pastas into brand new pasta/salad hybrids that bridge all the gaps and satisfy all the cravings at once. Phew. That’s a little overly dramatic, I suppose, but I’ve learned that by balancing the amount of pasta in a recipe with a healthy selection of veggies, nuts, and cheeses … you not only get something that you feel a bit better about eating on the regular, but you’ve also got a fresh, new concept on your hands that can’t help but be a total crowd pleaser. Half pasta. Half salad. All good. It’s essentially a pasta salad, but updated a bit.
This particular “pasta salad” is inspired by a favorite recipe from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks, a longtime blog favorite of mine, and I turn to it again and again this time of year. You’re essentially going to whip up your favorite ravioli (store-bought) and toss it with loads of flavorful, hearty winter greens (chard, or kale if that’s how you roll), sweet caramelized onions, and a shower of cheese and crunchy toasted nuts. It’s utterly delicious and a fantastic way to cut the amount of pasta you’re consuming a bit, while still getting your fix. You see? It’s a very good trick.
In addition to the fantastic winter “pasta salad,” you might also be wondering what these gooey chocolate-stuffed cookies are, and I suppose I don’t blame you. How fetching can a cookie be?! I mean honestly. I’ve been a sucker for the Magic Middle cookies since the early nineties when I’d practically eat myself sick on them during family beach vacations to the Carolinas. They were and probably still are, my favorite cookie of all time. They were store-bought though, those Magic Middles to which I refer. Keebler made them, until they didn’t, discontinuing them at some point and leaving me completely heartbroken. I loved those cookies so.
Luckily for me and my broken heart, the brilliant Stella Parks (whom I’ve already waxed poetic about here recently) has managed to recreate them with a recipe in her book, BraveTart. When I saw the recipe, I think I actually dropped what I was doing at the time and immediately set about making them. They’re incredible and perfect and single-handedly managed to repair that long-broken heart of mine. Powerful stuff for a simple cookie, I’d say. I’m sharing the recipe for these beauties in my next newsletter, which should be rolling out to my H&H subscribers next weekend. If you don’t already subscribe, I encourage you to do so! I will share recipes in my weekly (or bi-monthly) newsletters that I don’t share here, as well as other cooking and food-related inspiration, updates, announcements, and the like. I’ve got a couple of fun projects in the works right now that I am looking forward to sharing, and subscribers get all the goods first. It’s easy – just pop your email into the subscription box on the homepage, and you’re all set.
In the meantime, I do hope you enjoy this pasta-salad hybrid . . . I’ve got another pasta recipe coming your way in a few days that is equally as delicious, lovely to look at, and crave-worthy all at once. Happy Friday loves.
Warm Chard and Ravioli Salad with Toasted Walnuts
- 1 lb. ravioli any variety you like
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
- Flaky sea salt
- 2 small yellow onions thinly sliced
- 2 cups of chopped Swiss or rainbow chard deveined you can sub kale
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice and zest
- 2/3 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated (optional)
- 1/2 cup scallions finely chopped
Place a large pot of well-salted water on the stove to boil. Add the raviolis and cook according to their package directions. When they’re cooked, drain them and toss with about 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Set aside.
To caramelize the onions, heat another Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet with a pinch of salt. Cook them over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions slump down greatly and become deep brown, about 30 – 35 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Before serving, combine the greens and the lemon juice with a pinch of salt in a large bowl (or on a large serving platter). Massage for at least 15 seconds. Add the raviolis and to the chard, along with most of the onions, and most of the nuts. Fold everything to gently combine. Finish with a shower of cheese, some scallions, any remaining onions and nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil to finish. Serve warm or at room temperature, family-style.