"first frost" pasta


In anticipation of our first frost, we harvested our still-bountiful swiss chard for a big batch of somethin-somethin.  And that delicious something ended up being a variation of this pasta dish featured by Smitten Kitchen but originally from Gourmet magazine (RIP).  I highly recommend it-- it was super fast and easy, and great to take to work through the week (and I never got tired of it either!)





Pasta with Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips

1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise 
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 pounds green Swiss chard, stems and center ribs finely chopped and leaves coarsely chopped separately (about two heads worth)
1 pound pasta-- I used penne
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, cut into slivers
1/3 lb feta-- I swear by a French sheeps feta from Phoenicia

juice of one lemon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper and lemon zest to taste

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Cook onion in oil remaining in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir chard stems into onion mixture with water and 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in chard leaves and cook, covered, until stems and leaves are tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 5 quarts water) until al dente. 

Toss spaghetti with chard, olives, and tomatoes.  Season with lemon zest, salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with feta and garlic chips.

ENJOY!