So….I had a bit of a mishap.

Of the moldy pie crust variety. (Ew.)

Which, I guess, is technically my own fault but in all fairness I wrap pie crusts in saran wrap and leave them in the fridge overnight pretty much biweekly and never have I ever come back to use them the next day to find them covered in unseemly white spots (differential diagnosis: pie herpes).  Until now.


So there I was, fuming in the kitchen and mourning the fact that, not only did I waste 1/3 cup good quality olive oil on that damn crust, but this was going to be the perfect Easter recipe and I was going to be such a rockstar blogger by having it cooked and ready to post a week before Easter and now…now I was lost.  And dazed. And confused. And totally not rockstar.


Not to mention that there was still the matter of dinner and I had one hungry boyfriend sitting at my kitchen table playing Family Feud on his phone and inquiring in-between rounds as to when we would be eating.

I almost slapped him.  And then I almost threw the moldy pie crusts in his face.  And then I almost shrieked NEVER!!!!!!!!!! at the top of my lungs in my highest pitched annoying girl voice that will take out an eardrum if you’re not careful.

And then…I made pasta.  It was pretty rockstar.


And Easter-worthy, considering that The.Boy kept moaning and saying, “This really hit the spot, babe” the whole time he was eating.

So whether you’re in the middle of a pie crust crisis or not, I’m thinking this is the perfect dish to get on your table.  It’s filled with three different kind of veggies – swiss chard, eggplant, and roasted red peppers – and is just a bit decadent with a super creamy sauce.  All for under 300 calories a (large) serving.


One year ago…Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache
Two years ago…Homemade Ginger Pasta with Sweet Potato Wasabi Sauce, Pumpkin Yeast Bread
Three years ago…Spicy Grilled Chicken with Creamy Pumpkin Mole Sauce
Four years ago…Potato Gnocchi with Peas, Prosciutto, and Ricotta

Pizza Rustica Pasta
Serves 5-6, adapted from Cooking Light April 2012


  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb swiss chard, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz gruyere, shredded
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz whole wheat spaghetti


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. While water is heating up, cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and discard the seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves skin side up on a foil-lined baking sheet and flatten with your hands. Broil until charred and black on the outsides. Place into a closed container for 5 minutes. Peel skin off and discard. Coarsely chop pepper flesh.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add chard to the pan and cook for 1 minute or until wilted. Place chard and bell peppers in a large bowl. Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining tbsp oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the eggplant and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and soft. Add to the veggie mixture along with the ricotta, gruyere, parmesan cheese, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Cook pasta to desired consistency according to package directions, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and toss with veggie/cheese mix, adding in half of the reserved water. Stir to combine, adding in more water as needed to create desired sauce consistency.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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79 Responses to Pizza Rustica Pasta

  1. You are definitely a rock star, Joanne! I love this – pizza rustica pasta. Can’t go wrong with a pasta dish that tastes like pizza 🙂

  2. Simply Life says:

    i hate it when cooking disasters like that happen!

  3. Pie herpes, HA! 🙂

    But yeah, I hate when the bugs get to the food before I do. 🙁

  4. bellini says:

    Yeh, good save Joanne.You can always win with pasta!

  5. Pasta will always do the trick. So weird about the pie crust. I think a redo is in order.

  6. I would have cried over the pie crust and definitely thrown it. But this pasta looks delicious, way to turn that into a win!

  7. Beth says:

    You are SUCH a rock star. Does The.Boy. know how lucky he is?

    I can’t wait to try this one.

  8. Ashley Bee says:

    300 calories?? Woah. I’m trying to cut my carb intake (for being mostly sedetary I do NOT need as much as I consume) but maybe I’ll make an exception for this!

    Also, pie herpes made me giggle. a Lot.

  9. Okay…so now my mind is running rampant with other ideas. German potato salad pasta? Beer and brats pasta with fried eggplant? , still don’t fit in under 300 calories though, so this has to be sensational…*runs off to write under 300 cal recipes*

  10. SallyBR says:

    I feel your pain… hate when this stuff happens. But, what matters is that you retrieved your rockstar status. All else, is water under the bridge!

    I bought a Cooking Light issue at the airport and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I see a subscription in the future, but please don’t tell my beloved husband. 🙂

  11. Hovkonditorn says:

    The pasta looks so yummy!

  12. Patsy K says:

    I’m all over a super creamy sauce! Bummer about the pie crust, but it sounds like it all turned out deliciously anyway!

  13. Natalie G says:

    Oh I like how creamy this looks! Love trying out new pasta dishes 🙂

  14. marie says:

    On that note I was slathering a bagel with cream cheese last week and noticed the bagel had mold on it. What? I had just bought it 2 days before, and none of the others had mold. It was the weirdest thing.

  15. Amy says:

    A pie crust gone bad. Before you could use it. This deeply depresses me.

  16. Foodycat says:

    Pastry going mouldy just over night? Even outside the fridge I don’t know how that is possible unless you rubbed it with a piece of blue cheese first! What a shame. Great looking pasta though.

  17. I am sorry to hear about the pie debacle, but I must say that this pasta does look like rock star pasta to me! I’m always a fan of roasted red peppers in pasta, so that’s certainly a bonus for me, too.

  18. Wow, under 300 calories for a hearty serving? Where do I sign up?? 🙂 Can’t wait to try this. PS – sorry to hear about your pie crust, I would have been ticked off too.

  19. a) You are a foodie superhero. b) My boyfriend would have gotten moldy-pie-crusted in the face. Guarantee it. So you’re also a patience superhero. 😉

  20. sandra says:

    you are always a rockstar.

  21. Mary Younkin says:

    This pasta sounds delicious! Hate when foods go wrong in the refrigerator. Sorry about the crusts!

  22. ok, look here Joanne! I am really picky about what I read, pin, pass etc. and since I found you, I feel like one of those retired folks always “forwarding”! I LOVE YOUR BLOG, your writing, your recipes and the overall vibe. Keep it up girl! I have become a clicking fool even considering a new Board on Pintrest just for you and recipes that I think my book club will love!
    Have a great day, know that you are appreciated and are bring joy to food lovers!

  23. ugh. dumb pie crust. this pizza pasta looks awesome though! good save. i just made some pizza pasta last night…and it was definitely not this healthy. 🙂

  24. Jenn Kendall says:

    this is definitely some rockstar pasta – sounds so super delicious!

  25. Jessie says:

    You’re not the only one to succumb to unintentional moldy food (someday, I’ll tell you about the energy bar incident). You saved the day with this incredibly creative pasta though – you’re a total rockstar, Joanne! 😉

  26. This looks so indulgent. Sorry about the pie mishap. At least you *tried* to get an easter post in before easter! I’m not that good of a planner…

  27. That pasta sounds pretty delicious. So, are you still shooting for an Easter pie or do you have a different dessert planned?

  28. Yeah. You’re still a rock star, especially with this great looking pasta!

  29. Erica says:

    What a delicious pasta dish, Joanne!Sorry about the “Pie herpes;-)

  30. Big Dude says:

    Looks delicious Joanne – you did your boyfriend proud.

  31. Ashley says:

    Very rockstar, indeed! And, hey, you saved some carbs, right? 😉 This is a great idea – love it!

  32. Eileen says:

    Pasta is the perfect emergency food. I love the mix of veg, especially chard–so underrated. I also love the ricotta, although I’d be the only one eating it at our house. The whole dairy tolerance thing is such a pain. On the other hand, that means I get all the ricotta…

  33. this looks delicious! love everything you stuffed in 🙂 hopefully it made you forget about the pie crust… boo 🙁

  34. I’m still kinda giggling at pie herpes. 🙂

    Pasta is seriously my go to food at ALL times! Yum!

    Side note: Hey Joanne!!! I haven’t been by here in a while! 🙂

  35. You’re always a rock star blogger in my world.

  36. Velva says:

    Hunger was the main cause, once satisfied, it could only rock. Love the rustic pasta dish. Most definitely would hit the spot on a cold day.

    Happy spring.


  37. Julia Menn says:

    Hahaha – lol. Oh, the mishaps that are unavoidable in the kitchen. How many times have I come across something in my fridge that has gotten moldy when it was just fresh. Nowadays, the new thing my fridge likes to do is freeze everything in the back half – whether it be in the crisper drawer or not! Ugh. However, way to regain your rockstar-ness 🙂

  38. Oh dear, pie crust herpes is serious business, my condolences 😛

    I loved your description of making this and your bf, hilarious. This pasta def. looks crazy, rock star delicious!

  39. sorry about the pie lady. However, I am more of a pasta girl and this is my kind of treat! yum!

  40. Abby says:

    haha! My guy asks me every day around 430 (he’ll even text) what’s for dinner…i’m like really? are we 80 now having the early bird special? 😉 anyways this dish looks completely rockstar!!

  41. Pie herpes…ha ha ha!! I know how you feel though, I recently opened a container of ricotta to find mold…gross!! Ah well, it happens right? At least you came of with a rockstar worthy dish. This looks awesome and sounds really filling 🙂

  42. This definitely looks like rockstar pasta!

  43. P says:

    I’d say you’re a rockstar for coming up with this quickly enough despite the pie mishap :)!

  44. Juliana says:

    Ewww…pie herpes…poor boyfriend of yours…almost got a sick crust on his face 🙂
    Anyway, yes, the pasta does sure look like to rock…sounds and looks awesome Joanne.
    Enjoy your week and no more flying pie crust…

  45. this pasta looks totally rockstar joanne! and yes, i understand how those days can be… those are the times when i question myself and my character. but, we are only human and wasting good ingredients on food gone bad is an excuse to act out. promise!

  46. This DOES sound tasty…forget that pie crust! And how crazy that it got like that overnight. I’d be throwin’ that fit ;P

  47. Sounds like you saved the day! Bummer about the pie crust though… I’d be so frustrated.

  48. You will always be Rockstar to us! And yay to creamy pasta that isn’t, really. I must get out of the habit of using cream in my sauces, and ricotta is a great alternative.

  49. How would the pie crust have gotten moldy after one day in the fridge? That’s so weird, and also so frustrating! On the bright side, there’s still plenty of time before Easter, and this pasta will keep us very happy while we wait to see your beautiful pie 🙂

  50. Lynn says:

    You are definitely a rockstar in my book. And a lovely looking pasta that is. Wish I had some of that right now.

  51. teresa says:

    hey, the fact that you even attempted to have an easter recipe ready before the actual day still makes you a rockstar in my book! as does this pasta, it’s just packed with flavor!

  52. Hannah says:

    Nice recovery from that initial setback; I’d say that -you- are pretty rockstar, too. Moldy food does stink (no pun intended), but it’s still better to find out before making the pie than after, right?

  53. Astra Libris says:

    You are always a rock star! 😉 the boy is sooooo lucky! 🙂 can’t wait to try this gorgeous dish – yay eggplant!! 🙂

  54. Betty says:

    Pie crust molding has never been a problem for me, because I don’t make it. 🙂 This pasta looks really good though- I love the flavors!

  55. Blond Duck says:

    I’ve been craving pasta– I think the boy and I would agree!

  56. Dining Alone says:

    Love all that delicious ricotta all over that pasta, I would care less about a pie crust if I had some of that 🙂

  57. this looks tasty and sorry about the recipe my hot cross buns failed last week :_)

  58. tigerfish says:

    How can you not be rockstar? You made pasta happen while pizza was “down”!

  59. That pasta looks divine. Hope you discover why your pie crust went mouldy 🙂

  60. A creamy and rustic looking pizza pasta!
    Mouldy crust…o..that’s not a fun thing at all…hope you find out the reason soon.

  61. Kari says:

    I feel for your mishap, but this is one great outcome for us readers 🙂

  62. Barbara says:

    Quick and yummy. Whether this would take the place of the pie crust plan I don’t know…but this looks great to me. You’re always a rock star, Joanne! 🙂

  63. Johanna GGG says:

    We once had a curry go mouldy after a day or two on the stovetop in a share house (but the spices are meant to help it keep longer or maybe just cover up the mould!!!) so I understand your bewilderment at the pie crust going awry – glad you saved dinner – that is double rockstar 🙂

  64. Katerina says:

    He has Greek genes my friend what did you expect? He would keep asking what’s to eat even if he saw you tearing your clothes from frustration haha! I think you did the right thing and fed him with this delicious pasta!

  65. Karen says:

    I’ll take pasta any way, anytime. Glad you thought to save the bf’s hearing 🙂

  66. Colynn O says:

    Moldy pie crust = UGGGHHH. Glad you turned it around though. The pasta definitely has rockstar status. Your combination of red pepper, swiss chard, shallots, garlic, and eggplant is a winner in my book!

  67. Wow this looks so yummy – I bet no one even missed the pizza part of it 😉

  68. Way to save the day with this great dish! If there is one thing that can save adequately replace pie crust, it’s pasta!

  69. Aw man, don’t you hate when food goes to waste? Well, this was a great way to use up the pizza toppings…everything happens for a reason 😉

  70. Reeni Pisano says:

    Aww bummer about the pie crust! Wonder how it caught herpes, heehee so fast? You bounced right back – coming up with this super delicious dish on the fly! I could drown in it! Happily.

  71. Aw, I’ve been in that situation before. I don’t know what’s worse, the dent to the ego or the waste of ingredients. Nice comeback though!

  72. Lora says:

    Pie herpes ha ha. Hearty, luscious looking pasta. Yum.

  73. grace says:

    i hate mold. this is a great save–seems like maybe you do your best work under duress. 🙂

  74. That Girl says:

    It is torture to see these kind of recipes during Passover!

  75. Chris says:

    The pasta sounds great but “pie herpes” had me on the floor.

  76. Kerstin says:

    Yum, love all the veggies in this pasta! Poor pie crust – wasting ingredients is always frustrating but it happens to all of us!

  77. Elizabeth says:

    I was thinking about making this exact recipe this week. Well, as printed in Cooking Light. Glad to hear it’s good!

  78. fulham pizza says:

    Pizza Rustica Pasta is looks very delicious!
    Everybody can enjoy when he make it. tell me about the process of cookikg…….
    you can choose very delicious dish and tell me the process of making Pizza Rustica Pasta.

  79. Laura says:

    Loved this post, although am sorry to hear about the pie crust. Also sorry I have not been around in a while–I am having problems with my rss feed, and, well, so I avoided it for a bit so as to not scream dire threats at my computer.

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