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Dinner Tonight! | Quick Fix

Bored With Pasta? Try Charding It

April 10, 2002|ELLEN SAVASTANO | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

You may not know Swiss chard as well as, say, spinach, but this earthy green has a wonderful, meaty mouth-feel. You can cook it the same way you do spinach.

Combine it with pasta, and you have a fast and different dinner. This light tomato sauce is also a nice change from the usual heavy red sauce.

Pull some of those dried herbs from the cupboard and assemble the crusty herb bread while the sauce cooks. Serve fresh fruit for dessert, and pass a plate of cookies.

Farfalle With Swiss Chard

Active Work Time: 15 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes * Vegetarian

Salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 shallots, minced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup white wine

1 orange bell pepper, diced small

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 pound farfalle

1 pound (2 bunches) Swiss chard, stems discarded, leaves roughly chopped

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the wine and bell pepper and cook until the wine evaporates, 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by about half.

While the sauce simmers, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook 6 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and cook until the chard is tender and pasta is cooked, another 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and chard and return to the pot. Add the tomato mixture and stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2 to 3 servings. Each of 3 servings: 296 calories; 884 mg sodium; 7 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 41 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 5.90 grams fiber.

MENU

Farfalle With Swiss Chard

Crusty Herb Bread

Fresh Fruit and Cookies

*

STAPLES

Butter

Garlic

Dried marjoram

Olive oil

Parmigiano-Reggiano

Dried rosemary

Dried thyme

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes

White wine

*

SHOPPING LIST

Italian bread

Cookies

Farfalle

Fresh fruit

Orange bell pepper

Shallots

Swiss chard

*

GAME PLAN

25 minutes before: Heat water. Chop shallots, garlic and bell pepper

20 minutes before: Cook vegetables. Chop Swiss chard.

15 minutes before: Cook pasta, add Swiss chard.

10 minutes before: Make butter for bread.

5 minutes before: Bake bread, drain pasta and combine with sauce.

*

Crusty Herb Bread

Active Work and Total Preparation Time:

10 minutes

1/2 loaf Italian bread

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 clove garlic, mashed

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread in half lengthwise.

Use a mortar and pestle to combine the butter, garlic, marjoram, thyme and rosemary. Spread the butter on the bread and place on a baking sheet. Bake until crispy, 5 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.

2 to 3 servings. Each of 3 servings: 312 calories; 578 mg sodium; 31 mg cholesterol; 14 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 40 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 2.45 grams fiber.

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