Whole Wheat Pasta with Chard, Fresh Tomato Sauce and Cheese

The photo is from Giada De Laurentiis's recipe, but I prefer pasta in a shape that will hold the sauce: rotini, orecchiette (ear shaped), farfalle (bow tie), conchiglie (seashell shaped), penne rigate (ridged tubes) all work nicely.  Some brands I've tried include Dellalo and DeBoles.  


The 9/2/14 farm share for Glade Road Growing is slated to include lettuce mix, tomatoes, sweet peppers,
parsley, chard, and garlic. Here's a simple pasta recipe with a fresh tomato sauce.


Serves 4

Wash chard.  Chop stems separately and reserve.  Coarsely chop leaves.

To prepare ingredients for sauce:

  • Finely grate zest of a lemon enough to make 1 lightly packed teaspoon. Cut lemon in half squeeze into a small lidded jar. You will need 1 teaspoon for this recipe.
  • Peel, smash and mince three cloves of fresh garlic.
  • Peel and thinly slice 2 small onions.
  • Chop parsley leaves to make 3 tablespoons.
  • Chop one 1/4 cup of kalamata olives.  You can substitute a drained jar of pickled capers, if you prefer.
  • Seed, devein and chop one fresh serrano pepper. If you don't have a hot pepper, you can add 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Halve five to six  tomatoes (about a pound) and press lightly to get rid of seeds and extra juice. Slice into large chunks.

Bring water to a boil in the a 2 quart pot with a set in steamer.  Add a bit of extra virgin olive oil to the water and the whole wheat pasta.  Bring back to a boil and turn down to medium. Set the steamer in the pot and c ook whole wheat pasta until al dente. While the pasta is cooking,  in the steamer, first cook the chopped stems and when soft, cook the leaves. Drain pasta into the steamer, set back in pot and cover.  Divide pasta and chard mixture among four bowls.  You can make this more filling by tossing each bowl's contents with 1/2 cup of drained, cooked white beans.  Set aside until the sauce is cooked.

In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the hot pepper or red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring often, until soft and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.   Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until they begin to release their juice, 4  minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Stir in olives.  Remove the pan from the heat, add the parsley and swirl the pan to blend them into the sauce. Taste and balance the seasoning with salt and lemon juice if needed.

 Pour sauce over mixture.  Sprinkle with freshly grated Asiago or Pecorino cheese and with pine nuts or walnuts, if desired.  Serve right away.