Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Pasta with Swiss Chard, Raisins & Almonds

On Monday, we received a good portion of Swiss chard in our farm share, which I don't have very much experience with. So I was happy to find this recipe on Epicurious, adding a bit of pasta to turn it into a main meal based on Epicurious user recommendations.

I very much like how healthy this is: Swiss chard, almonds, raisins, and EVOO are very, very nutritive things to eat (better yet, use whole wheat pasta). Unfortunately, the final result here was a bit bland; everything just needed more "oomph" -- but this may be due to my tinkering with the recipe.

Next time, I'll increase the amount of smoked paprika (which was wonderful) and thrown in a bit of cinnamon and maybe cardamom to boot.

Pasta with Swiss Chard, Raisins & Almonds

1 large, red onion, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
3 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 lbs Swiss chard
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds with skins
8 oz cooked, short cut pasta (such as fusili, penne, shells, farfalle, etc.), kept hot

After washing & drying the Swiss chard, remove the center ribs and slice into 1/4-inch pieces. Chop the leaves coarsely and set aside.

Cook onion and chopped chard ribs with 1/4 teaspoon salt in 3 tablespoons oil in a 5- or 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring until softened. Sprinkle with paprika and cook while stirring, 1 minute. Add the chopped chard leaves in batches, stirring frequently until wilted, then adding raisins and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until chard is tender, about 7 minutes. When finished, toss with pasta and adjust seasonings.

While chard leaves are cooking, start preparing the almonds. In a small heavy skillet over medium low heat, cook the nuts in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil, stirring frequently until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle almonds over pasta and chard.

Serves 6.

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