Fettuccine with White Bean Sauce and Chard

Ruby Chard

Chard is a beloved kitchen-garden vegetable in Italian cuisine. Combined with white beans and tomatoes, this stick-to-your-ribs dish will satisfy the heartiest of appetites.

Serves: 6

  • 1 good-sized bunch fresh chard (about 10 to 12 ounces),
    any variety — Swiss, green, rainbow, ruby, etc.
  • 10- to 12- ounce package fettuccine (or substitute pappardelle)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/ 2 to 2 pounds diced ripe tomatoes
    (or substitute 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes if
    good tomatoes are unavailable)
  • 15- to 16-ounce can large white beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup dark raisins or currants
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Vegan Parmesan cheese, storebought or homemade , optional

Remove and discard the stems and thicker mid-ribs from the Swiss chard leaves. Rinse the leaves well, then drain and coarsely chop them.

Cook the fettuccine in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in an extra-large saucepan or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onions and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until the onion is golden.

Add the wine and Swiss chard. Cover and cook just until the chard wilts down, stirring once or twice, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and raisins. Cook just until everything is well heated through, another 4 to 5 minutes.

Combine the fettuccine with the Swiss chard mixture in a large serving bowl. Toss well, then season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss again. Serve, passing around  Parmesan cheese for topping, if desired.

Variation: Use a package of green and white fettuccine for a particularly attractive effect. Or try using super-nourishing quinoa ribbons, available in natural foods stores.

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