Take My Hand

Swiss Chard Pasta

I want to start this post with a quick garden update, mostly because I actually have a garden to give updates on!  At this point I have 14 tomatoes, including one that is starting to redden.  I also have 21 peppers, including two on my red bell pepper plant!  With the peppers I think I should have the first one in the next week or so with the rest following soon after.  I am starting to work some pepper recipes and can’t wait to test them with my own fresh veggies!  I’m just hoping that the strong wind we have been having lately doesn’t take out any of my lovelies.

This recipe doesn’t feature tomatoes or peppers however it does feature a vegetable that is in season and often overlooked.  I had my first taste of Swiss Chard about 15months ago, at Old Town Alexandria’s Majestic.  It was served as part of an amazing cannelloni dish along with fresh cheeses and a wicked cream sauce.   Quick disclaimer:  my memory has been labeled as freaky however the reason for such detail is my first experience with Swiss Chard happened to be my first “real” date with Joe so…I remember these things.  However it wasn’t until reading about a dozen blog posts about amazing CSA reens that I finally got the courage to try cooking it on my own.  I stuck with a basic pasta dish in order to make sure the chard had a chance to shine.  Finding out the sauce turned a pleasant pink shade was an added bonus.

Ingredients: (serves 4-5)

  • 1/2 lb Ziti (or other tubular) noodles
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, well diced
  • 1 lb Swiss Chard, well rinsed and coarsely chopped (cut off the bottom of the stem)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions until al dente.  Drain and return to pan.
  2. Meanwhile heat the olive oil over medium heat, once hot add the garlic and onion.  Cook 5 minutes, until garlic starts to turn golden.  Add the swiss chard is slow amounts, letting it wilt before adding more.  Cook until the chard is tender, about 7minutes.
  3. In a small bowl mix the ricotta cheese with the vegetable stock.  Pour over the drained pasta and toss before mixing in the chard mixture.  Season to taste with salt and pepper then top with the Parmesan Cheese.  Serve warm!

This recipe is quick and simple and a great way to try out a new green most would work well in this recipe.  I am looking forward to testing out some other chard recipes to see what else I can turn pink and will hopefully have tons more to share.