But...I did! And here's the proof:
And here's the recipe:
Start with a bunch of chard. It could be rainbow, it could be black-and-white. Here at NCK, we don't give a shit. Just get some chard, d.b.
Separate the leaves from the stalks, either with your monkey paws or with a sharp knife. This way you'll have a pile of leafy chard and a pile of long chard ribs or stalks.
|It helps when your produce is pretty.|
Once you're done chopping up the veg, boil some water for the pasta. Once it begins to boil, add some olive oil and a boatload of salt. My friend Rob, who is the original creator of this recipe (and also Italian) sayz: "It should taste like salt water." I didn't taste the pasta water, but I did put more salt in than I'm used to.
Now, add some pasta. I used whole wheat rigatoni, but any pasta will do. If you're also using whole wheat pasta, let it cook for about eight minutes--until it's not raw but it's also not quite cooked.
Next, sauté your chard stems in a pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add some salt and some pepper.
|I kept thinking this was bacon, but then I remembered that I'm a vegetarian.|
Let your chard stems sauté for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often. After they've cooked for a bit, add your leafy chard bits, along with a big handful of pine nuts, aka pignolos (so cute)!
By now your pasta should be done, so pull it off the stove and drain it in some kind of contraption that also allows you to save some of the pasta water.
FYI, to make sure the whole wheat pasta doesn't stick into a big fat gluten brick, I quickly rinse off the pasta as soon as I take it off the stove and drain it.
Now that I have all that oily starchy water, I add it to my pan of chard, to braise it, if you will. (How fancy am I??!! All those nights I spent watching the Food Network while hungry are really paying off now!!)
Let this cook down a bit until most of the water is gone and the chard is soft and very much reduced. I added even more olive oil at this stage, and then added the pasta to the pan as well.
A bit of stirring at a reduced temperature and voilá--it's f-ing Chef Boyardikki!
My bowl, served with some shavings of Asiago cheese:
Mmmm...so good. Oh yah, and I forgot to mention that I added some red pepper flakes to the mix when I threw the pasta in the pan. Those are the little red flakes you see above, and they definitely added some yum-ness to the dish.
So, there you have it: my first real recipe tutorial. It's a bit strange, really, since this isn't a recipe at all and doesn't include any fancy spices, flavors, ingredients, or methods. But this pasta non-lover still loved it, so go eat some!
I'll be back to my regular scheduled programming (i.e. all prepared foods from Whole Foods) tomorrow.
*What did you cook for dinner tonight?