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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Karin's Week Twenty-Four Recipe: Creamy Pasta with Chard and Tomatoes

This past Saturday, we once again ventured out to our local Farmer's Market. One of my goals this summer is to eat more veggies of types that I am not used to. This week the Swiss Chard looked very tasty and colorful, along with some of the early-ripening tomatoes - chard is not on my usual veggies list, tomatoes are.  Once we got home, I needed to find something to do with the Swiss Chard. Lucky for me, this recipe used ingredients that were on hand, and fresh. Once again, Joy of Cooking comes up with a recipe for a random ingredient.

Creamy Pasta with Chard and Tomatoes

1 T olive oil (a bit more if your pan is nonstick)
1/4 c chopped onion (I used shallots, about 1/2 c, as they needed to be used up)
2 cloves garlic, minced (we ended up using twice this, as we like garlic)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 cup chopped drained canned tomatoes
1 lb chard, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch strips (including green leaves)
3/ 4 c heavy cream
Black pepper to taste

Cooked fettuccine or egg noodles in amount you need to feed a family.

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally until soft & golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes (which I did not peel only chopped, as who has time to peel tomatoes?) and cook stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 5 min. Add the chard and cook while stirring until chard has wilted, about 2 min. Add the cream and black pepper, then cook for 2 min or until bubbly. Remove from heat and serve over pasta.

This took less time to make than I thought it would. Once everything was chopped, it went together in the time it took to boil the water for the pasta. I was worried that this would have the texture of cooked spinach, which I abhor, but the chard ribs stayed crunchy in the sauce. Flavor-wise, the sauce was nice and light, but both Nate and I agreed we would add more red pepper next time, as you really couldn't taste it. This was a tasty recipe that got a thumbs-up and I will probably make it again if I need a quick pasta dish.

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