Monday, December 19, 2011

Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips

With all the madness surrounding the holiday season, I've barely had time to cook, much less blog. Apologies for the extended absence--now that I've gotten most of my holiday shopping done, the planning of my company holiday party out of the way (it was a raging success, according to my morning-after hangover), and nothing more than a few straggler dinners to attend to in the coming weeks, I can finally sit down to breathe again. And I found time to hit the kitchen. Hopefully this gem of a recipe makes it up to you. The feta and the olives makes this pasta feel downright Mediterranean, and the gently sauteed Swiss chard adds a hit of healthfulness that we all need around these times of overindulgence. xo

Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips
Adapted from Gourmet magazine, November 2008
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 pounds green Swiss chard, stems and center ribs finely chopped and leaves coarsely chopped separately
1/2 cup water
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, cut into slivers
6 ounces feta, crumbled (1 1/2 cups)

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Cook onion in oil remaining in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir chard stems into onion mixture with water and 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in chard leaves and cook, covered, until stems and leaves are tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water and drain spaghetti.

Toss spaghetti with chard, olives, and 1/2 cup cooking water, adding more cooking water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with feta and garlic chips.