Wondering what to do with Swiss chard? It’s one of the healthiest vegetables out there and bountiful at the grocery store and at farmers markets almost year-round. I’m always looking for new, simple recipes that use this superfood. This one is wonderful – it’s basically a Swiss chard pesto that would be great on orecchiette or penne pasta. If you double the recipe, the pesto would freeze well for future dinners. Enjoy!
Orecchiette with Swiss chard and Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small white onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 pound Swiss chard, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Maldon or other flaky sea salt
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound orecchiette
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
Combine the oil, onion, garlic, and chard in a large pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion and chard are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Season well with Maldon salt, add 1/4 cup water, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is very tender, about 20 minutes. Season with pepper and remove from the heat. Place ingredients into food processor and finely chop. Set aside in large bowl.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Drop in the pasta and cook until just al dente.
Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the chard ragu and stir and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated (add a splash or two more of the reserved pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce). Stir in the cheese.
Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and serve with additional grated Parmigiano on the side.