Thursday, December 2, 2010

Recipe: Swiss chard - Almond Pesto Pasta

Photo credit: Dan Robert,

Yesterday for dinner I decided to test drive a recipe from the most recent Rachel Ray magazine. It was featured in the $10 spot - recipes for a family under $10. The original recipe was for Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta

I had rainbow swiss chard from our recent CSA pick up and smoked almonds from our Thanksgiving cheese plate so I decided to substitute. It turned out really well. I love the technique of turning greens into pesto. I had done it with spinach, arugula, and now swiss chard.

Here we go:

1 bunch of swiss chard - stems removed and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 smoked almonds or toasted almonds
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp hot sauce
Rotini pasta - these spiral are important because they hold the pesto really well

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add at least 2 pinches of salt. Put the chard in the water for 5 minutes.
Remove the chard with a slotted spoon. You are going to boil the pasta in the same water.
Place the chard in a colander and run under cold water until all the chard is no warmer than room temperature. Squeeze the chard to remove extra water. Pat dry.
Add your pasta to the water and cook until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, put the garlic and nuts into the food processor. Pulse until chopped.
Add the cheese.
Add the chard.
The mixture will look a little lit tabbouleh. Taste it and add the salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
Continue to mix and drizzle in olive oil. The chard mixture will form a paste-like clump. You are done.
By now, the pasta should be done.
Reserve at least one cup of the water prior to draining.
Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
Add the clump of pesto. Add the reserved water until all the pasta is coated.


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