Besides the fresh, locally grown farm veggies, my favorite thing about being in a CSA is the vegetables we haven't tried before. This year we've been treated to kale and swiss chard. Kale is my new favorite vegetables but chard not so much. We've received it twice in our CSA. The first time, I sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper. It was way too much like cooked spinach for us. When we received it a second time, I searched for a recipe to try and see if we like it any better in something.
I found this recipe for pasta with swiss chard. The verdict? I liked it, Tim not so much. He struggled through it, pushing the chard to the side wherever he could. Do you like swiss chard? How do you prepare it?
Swiss Chard Pasta Bake
Recipe courtesy of Love and Olive Oil
12 oz. penne pasta
2 cups tomato sauce, any kind you like or see recipe below
1 pound swiss chard (about 6 large leaves), stems removed
3/4 cup asiago cheese cut into small cubes (I used goat cheese)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
shredded parmesan to go on top (optional)
simple tomato sauce:
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 8-oz can tomato sauce (plain)
1/4 cup white or red wine
2 teaspoons sugar
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Fill another
bowl with ice and a bit of water. Drop chard leaves in boiling water for
about 1 minute, remove and drop in ice water to stop the cooking
process so your chard keeps its vibrant green color.
Re-using the same pot, cook pasta according to package directions,
cutting the time a minute or two short since the pasta will continue
cooking while it bakes.
Meanwhile make the tomato sauce (or use your own and skip this step).
Over medium-high heat sauté onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add a few
pinches of salt. Add garlic. When onions are translucent, add both cans
of tomatoes, sugar and wine. Reduce heat. Simmer for 10 or 15 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add more salt & pepper to taste (only if
needed). Add red pepper flake, if using.
Remove chard from ice water, squeeze out excess water, and chop.
In a large bowl mix pasta, chard, cheese cubes and tomato sauce.
Pour the mixture in a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese on
top (if you like), and/or a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 25-30
minutes. Broil for the last 1-2 minutes if you would like the cheese
topping more brown and bubbling. (note, if you’re not putting cheese on
top, watch it more closely because it will dry out faster). Even without
cheese on top, I prefer a bit of a crunchy crust. If you don’t cook it
Remove from oven, let cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil.