This pasta with ruby chard, cranberries, toasted walnuts, lots of garlic, and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese is one of my new favourite things to eat. I've never been one to toast walnuts when a recipe calls for it because I didn't used to think it would make a huge difference. What was I thinking??! The toasted walnuts add something amazing to this dish. It seems like such a simple pasta dish yet is really flavourful and addictive. I might use even less pasta next time (I already reduce it from the original amount) as I love having lots of "stuff" versus pasta.
We just joined an organic vegetable CSA and I have a feeling we'll be getting a lot of greens, so I know I'll be making this pasta many times this summer. We just picked up our first allotment last weekend and I was thrilled to see tons of chard - regular, ruby and yellow. We also got a bunch of kale (delicious in smoothies!), 2 beautiful heads of lettuce, 2 beets, and some seedlings (basils and hot peppers). I planted the hot peppers but didn't have enough soil for the basil, so hopefully they don't die before I can get some more soil to plant them. I'm completely in love with all of the vegetables we received and even enjoyed washing and chopping them. It gave me more time to admire their perfection - especially the precious lettuce. I may be a crazy vegetable person.
If this sounds good, you might also like:
Last Minute Sesame Noodles
Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill and Lemon
Asparagus and Pea Pasta with Ricotta and Tarragon
Spaghetti All'Arrabbiata with Crispy Garlic Crumbs
Pasta with Ruby Chard and Cranberries
Adapted from Eats Well With Others who adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 lb whole grain pasta (my favourite is linguine)
2 to 3 bunches ruby or red swiss chard (1.5-2 lb)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When it comes to a rapid boil, ladle a few tbsp of it into a bowl. Add the dried cranberries and set aside to soak. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain.
2. While the water heats, rinse the chard and remove the bottom 1/2 inch of the stems. Discard. Cut the remaining stems crosswise into 1/2 inch slices and set aside. Chop the leaves. Set aside.
3. While the pasta cooks, warm the oil in a large soup pot on high heat. Add the chard stems and saute for a minute. Add the garlic and the chard leaves and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the chard is limp but the leaves are still bright green, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt. Add a sprinkling of black peper and red pepper flakes to taste.
4. Drain the soaked cranberries. Divide the pasta into serving bowls and top with the garlicky chard, plump hot cranberries, and toasted walnuts. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.