I was able to score a lovely bunch of swiss chard a few days ago when I was in the big city. Produce at our local store is often tricky to find and it is especially the case in winter months. I’ve had too many times to count when I wanted a pretty common ingredient like zucchini, potatoes or broccoli and I’m stymied. Some women get very pleased with a lovely bunch of flowers whereas I am excited with a lovely bunch of greens. When I travel and the GPS locates a Whole Foods or its equivalent in the area, I always stop. Even if I’m not buying much, it just makes me so happy to see all of that fresh produce. According to Boucci, I get all glassy eyed and don’t listen to what he is saying. I don’t mean to ignore him, I simply am smitten with all of the displays, free samples and the amazing array of fresh food!
In honor of my chard, I decided to create a pasta dish for it. It turned out quite delicious and I ended up eating the leftovers again for breakfast. I often have peculiar hankerings for real food like pasta/burritos for breakfast. It was good again even after I re-heated it.
Here is the recipe I concocted:
1 15-oz. cans of chickpeas rinsed and drained
1 cup veggie broth (I’m sure a chicken broth would work well too)
extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion sliced thin
2 cloves of garlic
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons of Italian spicing (I threw in a little basil, oregano, sage and thyme).
1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 bunch of Swiss Chard chopped. (I chop the stems very finely and the greens I roll up like a cigar and chop into 1/4 inch strips.
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. long pasta of your choice (I used linguine)
grated Parmesan cheese to taste
Blend together the chickpeas and the broth in a food processor/blender. I like it to be the consistency of a nutty peanut butter.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté till onions are soft and translucent. Then add red pepper flakes and garlic and saute for another minute or two.
Add chickpea mixture, tomatoes and spices and let simmer on low for about 15 minutes. Toss in the chopped chard and give it a few stirs as it wilts. Season with salt and pepper.
Make pasta according to package directions. Make sure you reserve one cup of pasta water before draining.
Add al dente pasta to the sauce and mix together. Add some pasta water to the sauce. It will help coat everything and the starch in the water helps to thicken the sauce. Taste the pasta. You will likely need more salt and pepper. Serve up with a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese.
I thought this recent study regarding full fat dairy and lower weight was interesting. I don’t like the taste of cheeses that are commercially made to be low-fat anyway. While this research finding may not be the key to maintaining a healthy weight, it doesn’t point to anything bad about my cheese consumption and I’ll happily continue to sprinkle on my Parmesan!
It’s pretty hard to get natural lighting for my dinner photos when it is dark at 5:00.