Leek & Summer Squash Pappardelle
with ricotta and spicy breadcrumbs!
Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’ve made it here and aren’t yet a subscriber, come join! You can expect recipes in your inbox every Tuesday, and paid subscribers receive even more every Thursday! You can also try a week for free!
It would be impossible to begin to catch up with you all without discussing the Supreme Court ruling this week. I have always been someone who has looked at the world with a critical lens, questioned what is normal and tried to understand why we do everything we do as human beings (I majored in both psychology AND journalism, after all). But I feel like in the past few years particularly, I’ve really had to think extensively about the deeply, deeply rooted problems in our country, more than I ever had before. I’ve racked my brain for hours trying to understand how people can exist in the same place and see so many issues in such extremely different ways. It’s exhausting, and at times, very disturbing.
I am scared about where things are heading, but I am also worried about how we can ever see eye to eye on issues when there is such racism, misogyny, and (one-sided) religiosity embedded in our systems. I lay awake at night wondering how this all ends. I often feel helpless.
Right now, the one piece of action that is making me feel helpful is donating money to organizations that are able to directly assist. Setting up a monthly donation is a way to give these non-profits ongoing support, so they can help the women who need them. You can give to a local fund, or you can donate directly to the National Network of Abortion Funds, who will allocate the funds for you.
And while we’re on the topic of donating… I also give monthly donations to the following organizations that may be places you will consider giving to as well:
Suprmarkt, which provides fresh food and groceries to low-income communities
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, which provides support and unemployment to Black trans people
Thank you for your support, if you are able to do so. If you want some lighter chit-chat, you can continue reading and get to “My Favorite Things” below, but I want my newsletter community to be more than just the fluff. We need both.
This is one of those recipes where looks don’t do it justice (I also really hate this picture. I forgot to charge my camera so tried to use my phone in bad lighting. Not great. Head to my Instagram for a video). My friend Aza brought over some leeks she grew in her garden, and I thought it would be fun to include them in a summer pasta. I picked up some yellow squash and ricotta and decided to toss everything in some spicy breadcrumbs for some texture.
If you don’t have leeks, you can use onion in this dish, but I love the way the leeks cook down, as they are a bit sweeter.
Leek & Summer Squash Pappardelle with Ricotta and Spicy Breadcrumbs
Ingredients (serves 2-4)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
8 oz pappardelle pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 medium/large summer squash (yellow squash) finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup ricotta
Handful of basil, thinly sliced
1. Heat up a large pan on medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and the crushed pepper, and toast until breadcrumbs are golden brown, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Heavily salt your pasta water and bring to a boil. Prepare al dente, according to package. When pasta is ready, be sure to reserve at least 1 cup of pasta water.
3. While pasta is cooking, clean off the pan you used for the bread crumbs, and in the same pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add leeks, squash, and garlic, season with salt, and sauté for 6-8 minutes until squash and leeks are cooked down.
4. When the pasta is ready, add it directly to the pan along with 1/2 cup pasta water, the ricotta, and the basil. Mix together until a creamy sauce has formed, adding more pasta water as needed. Transfer to a bowl and top with bread crumbs and more fresh basil.
THINGS I’M LOVING
Hair Product: I was influenced to by this JVN Air Dry Cream on TikTok, and if you have wavy hair, you will want to try this! I say this as someone who only uses one other hair product and am extremely picky about products in general, since I am pretty minimalist when it comes to skin and hair care. I use the tiniest amount (like pea-sized) and rub it through my hair after I brush it, and it helps to define my waves and add a bit of shine. The best part might be how amazing it smells though.
Drinks: Grant and I (mostly Grant) have been getting into making cocktails at home, and lately we have been all about all things grapefruit. We recently made a twist on a paloma using grapefruit soda, amaro, and Aperol, and our go-to drink is always a Grapefruit Radler with Aperol (okay, maybe we are having an Aperol moment, but who isn’t?!)
T-Shirts: I am always on the hunt for cute, relaxed tees, but I hate how the sleeves on women’s tees are cut. Grant recently refreshed his wardrobe with some Madewell Men’s t-shirts, and I borrowed one, got a stain on it, and then immediately ordered my own so I wouldn’t keep ruining his clothes. I sized down one so it wouldn’t be as baggy, and now I am obsessed with Madewell Men’s Garment-Dyed Allday Crewneck Tee. They’re so cute and comfy, and I’ve actually gotten asked a few times about where I’ve gotten them!! I like a bit of an oversized look, so I went for a medium. I love how soft they are, and they’re a bit faded, which gives them a vintage feel.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!
Summer is in full swing, and apparently, dinner parties are hot right now (which I didn’t know before I wrote this newsletter post, but I guess I’m just so trendy — or very ignorant)! If you’re looking for a little guidance on how to throw a good one and what to make, I’ve got you!!
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