We like the taste of Swiss chard but were surprised at how well it worked with the pasta. And the look - a really beautiful dish on the table. Adapted from the "The New Cook's Tour of Sonoma" as reported in the San Jose Mercury News. (Updated 2016)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
|A.||green Swiss chard||1 pound|
|penne pasta||1 pound|
Bring 2 quarts of well salted water to a boil.
Wash and dry chard.
Hold a chard leaf upside down by the end of its stem. Run a sharp knife quickly along each edge of the white stalk to separate the greens. Repeat with each chard leaf.
Slice the white stalks across the grain into 1/4 inch long pieces - little strips really.
Gather all the green leaves together. Roll them up like a cigar. Slice the rolled up leaves into 1/2 inch pieces. Now chop once or twice along the length of the pile of leaves. Keep them separate and set aside.
Add the pasta to the water.
|B.||coarse mustard||2 tablespoons||Use the kind with whole or broken mustard seeds in it. Dijon from crushed seeds works well.|
|red wine vinegar||1 tablespoon|
In a bowl combine mustard and vinegar, just stir it up a bit. Set it aside.
|C.||olive oil||3 tablespoons|
|garlic||3 cloves||Peeled and crushed. Do not mince, it will burn.|
|dried red pepper flakes||1 teaspoon|
In a large sauce pan heat the olive oil over a hot stove until the oil shimmers. Before the oil smokes add the garlic and pepper.
Stirring constantly, sauté until the garlic is a golden brown. Be careful to not burn the garlic.
Add the white chard stems and cook 3 minutes.
Add the chard leaves, cover and cook until wilted and tender; about 6 minutes.
Remove from heat and salt to taste. Do not drain.
|D.||Romano cheese||4 ounces||Grated - not shredded|
|pecans||1 cup||Chopped coarsely|
Drain the pasta and put it in a large bowl.
Add the mustard mixture and toss the pasta; coat it well.
Add the chard mixture and the pecans. Add prosciutto, if using it. Toss to distribute the chard well.
Add the cheese and toss again.