Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I made spaghetti with swiss chard and garlic chips

Found this recipe on smittenkitchen. It came out great. The garlic chips really did look as golden and pretty as in Deb's arsty photo! But it was NOT as easy as she made it out to be. It takes a lot of work to slice all those cloves super thinly. And the recipe calls for two pounds of chard! That's a lotta chard! Three bunches worth at the grocery store. By the time I de-stemmed and de-ribbed every leaf, there was a mountain of shrubbery on my kitchen counter.

BUT, the result was delicious. I recommend this dish if you have a couple sous-chefs to help deal with all that chard and garlic.

Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips
Gourmet, November 2008

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise though I am sure crosswise would work as well
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried currants (we skipped this) (so did I--currants just seem weird with the other ingredients)
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. Add currants and cook, stirring, until plumped, about 1 minute.

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 (2 tablespoons salt for 5 quarts 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.

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