First Date Pasta

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Once upon a time there was a certain someone I wanted to impress, and I invited him over for dinner and served this pasta. That was nearly 14 years ago, and we still eat together nearly every night. It probably wasn't the pasta that did it, but it surely helped!

We eat this dish all through the summer and early fall when Swiss chard is easy to come by. It's a meal that comes together quickly. Serve it with a side salad, and you're all set.

All of the quantities below are flexible.

  • 2 bunches of Swiss chard, washed
  • 1/2 c. sundried tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1-2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. olive oil, divided
  • 1 c. walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 4 - 6 oz. feta, crumbled
  • 1 lb. penne or rotini pasta, whole wheat preferred
  • 1/4 t. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Put on a large pot of water to boil, and when it does, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, stack several chard leaves together and slice in 1/2" strips, repeating with all the chard. Bring 1/2" of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 1 t. salt. Add the chard and stir. Turn the heat down to medium-low and steam the chard until tender, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. When tender, drain.

While the chard cooks, soak the sundried tomatoes in small dish with 1-2 T. balsamic vinegar and stir to submerge. Then saute the garlic in a small pan, in 1 T. olive oil over medium-low heat for 1 minute.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Return pasta to pot and add chard, tomatoes and vinegar, garlic, remaining olive oil, walnuts and optional red pepper flakes. Mix in feta to taste, and season with salt, if needed, and black pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or late, at room temperature.

By: | Jul 27, 2014 03:29 AM | Permalink
Delicious, very healthy and satisfying. I will make it again, my family gives it a thumbs up !!! Ruth

By: | Jul 26, 2014 06:05 PM | Permalink
I love this recipe. I have tried it several ways, with additions of kale, spinach, watercress and once in a while, chicken sausage.

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