Pasta with Chard & Sun-dried Tomatoes

* Chard leaves fresh from the garden
* Sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil — get at Anastasio’s in the Italian Mkt)
* Olive oil
* Garlic, roughly chopped
* Crushed dried red pepper (optional)
* Chunky curly pasta
* Pumpkin seeds
* Grated parmesan or locatelli cheese

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil and while you wait wash the chard leaves and remove the thick stem and central vein. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes into strips and cover with a bit of boiling water.

When the pot comes to a boil, add the chard and blanch for a couple of minutes, then remove the leaves from the pot with a slotted spoon. Drain the chard leaves and cut them into largish pieces. Add the pasta to the water in which the chard had been prepared and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan, add olive oil and hot peppers if you are using, then gently saute the garlic until it softens. Add the chard and the tomatoes along with their liquid and continue to saute gently. When the pasta is cooked, drain and toss into the chard/tomato mixture.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds and a grating of parmesan or a crumble of feta.

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