Chard is a beloved kitchen-garden vegetable in Italian cuisine, from which this pasta dish is inspired. Combined with beans and fresh tomatoes, this stick-to-your-ribs late summer pasta dish will satisfy the heartiest of appetites. A big salad and fruity dessert complete the meal.
Serves: 6 or more
- 1 good-sized bunch chard, any variety—Swiss, green, rainbow, etc. (about 10 to 12 oz)
- 10–12 oz penne pasta (or other short, chunky shape)
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 3–4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or water
- 1 1/ 2–2 pounds diced ripe tomatoes (see note)
- 1 (15–16 oz) can cannellini (white beans), red beans, or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 10–12 fresh basil leaves, or more, to taste, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup raisins or currants
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cut the leaves away from the chard stems, but don’t discard. Chop the leaves coarsely and slice the stems thinly. Rinse both well.
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Cook the pasta in rapidly simmering water for 10 to 12 minutes (or according to package directions), until al dente, then drain.
- In the meantime, heat the oil in an extra-large saucepan or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onions and garlic and saute over medium heat until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes.
- Add the wine or water and the chard with stems. Cover and cook just until the chard wilts down, stirring once or twice, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and raisins or currants. Cook just until everything is well heated through, another 4 to 5 minutes.
- Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce in a large serving bowl. Toss well, then season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss again. Serve at once.
Note: Substitute one 28-ounce can diced tomatoes if good, fresh tomatoes are unavailable.
Per Serving: 394 calories; 5.7g fat; 197.1mg sodium 74.7g carbs; 9.8g fiber; 15.2g protein