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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Swiss Chard Pasta Bake

 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

INGREDIENTS:
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)
METHOD:
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 less.
Remove from oven, let cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil.

7 comments:

  1. I do like chard but mostly in soups or sautéed with olive oil, garlic, and onion. I grow a lot of chard in the fall garden along with kale and mustard greens.

    Your pasta bake with chard looks good. It is is okay, that chard does not rock your world there are plenty of greens that will (smile).


    Velva

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  2. I tried swiss chard once in a soup flavored with lots of garlic and it was delicious. Not a vegetable I have a lot of experience with. This dish looks so delicious. Yummy!

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  3. I haven't tried it but think all of it's colors are very pretty! Happy Labor Day Weekend:@)

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  4. I have one pasta recipe using chard that I like, but that's about it. Sometimes it's tough finding a recipe that everyone agrees on!

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  5. I haven't tried swiss chard but I am sure combined with pasta would be great!

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  6. Ooh, I love pasta. I have never tried a pasta bake before, but this is making me want to make some!

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  7. Hi Julie, Swiss chard is great in a smoothie with lots of strawberries. I'm kind of in Tim's camp!!!! This looks yummy though.

    We are doing well, just got back from "Grandma Heaven," being with our new grandson and his two sisters.

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