Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pasta with Ruby Chard and Cranberries

This pasta with ruby chard, cranberries, toasted walnuts, lots of garlic, and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese is one of my new favourite things to eat. I've never been one to toast walnuts when a recipe calls for it because I didn't used to think it would make a huge difference. What was I thinking??! The toasted walnuts add something amazing to this dish. It seems like such a simple pasta dish yet is really flavourful and addictive. I might use even less pasta next time (I already reduce it from the original amount) as I love having lots of "stuff" versus pasta.

We just joined an organic vegetable CSA and I have a feeling we'll be getting a lot of greens, so I know I'll be making this pasta many times this summer. We just picked up our first allotment last weekend and I was thrilled to see tons of chard - regular, ruby and yellow. We also got a bunch of kale (delicious in smoothies!), 2 beautiful heads of lettuce, 2 beets, and some seedlings (basils and hot peppers). I planted the hot peppers but didn't have enough soil for the basil, so hopefully they don't die before I can get some more soil to plant them. I'm completely in love with all of the vegetables we received and even enjoyed washing and chopping them. It gave me more time to admire their perfection - especially the precious lettuce. I may be a crazy vegetable person.

Giant bag of greens and beets.

Beets, chard stems, chard, kale and beet greens.

2 heads of lettuce.

The most beautiful little beet leaf there ever was.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Last Minute Sesame Noodles
Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill and Lemon
Asparagus and Pea Pasta with Ricotta and Tarragon
Spaghetti All'Arrabbiata with Crispy Garlic Crumbs

Pasta with Ruby Chard and Cranberries
Adapted from Eats Well With Others who adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health

Serves 4-6

1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 lb whole grain pasta (my favourite is linguine)
2 to 3 bunches ruby or red swiss chard (1.5-2 lb)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When it comes to a rapid boil, ladle a few tbsp of it into a bowl. Add the dried cranberries and set aside to soak. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain.

2. While the water heats, rinse the chard and remove the bottom 1/2 inch of the stems. Discard. Cut the remaining stems crosswise into 1/2 inch slices and set aside. Chop the leaves. Set aside.

3. While the pasta cooks, warm the oil in a large soup pot on high heat. Add the chard stems and saute for a minute. Add the garlic and the chard leaves and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the chard is limp but the leaves are still bright green, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt. Add a sprinkling of black peper and red pepper flakes to taste.

4. Drain the soaked cranberries. Divide the pasta into serving bowls and top with the garlicky chard, plump hot cranberries, and toasted walnuts. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


janet @ the taste space said...

YUM! I love toasted nuts and I agree that they usually add that something extra to a dish... except I don't really like walnuts.. any other nut will do it for me- almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, even pecans... but walnuts not as much.

I am so excited to see your CSA bounty! Bring on the salads and greens! :) :) Can't wait to see what you cook (or un-cook) up!

Eileen said...

Heck yeah! Chard and pasta, together at last. I have to say I've never tried the walnut combination--maybe a trip to the bulk aisles will soon be in my future.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I just cooked a whole bunch of chard that we got straight from my bf's dad's garden. It was delicious! I love the addition of cranberries to chard in this pasta. Will definitely have to try it next time we have some on hand.

Joanne said...

It's rare that I actually include nuts in a recipe when it calls for them, but in this one I did and was so pleasantly surprised! Glad you liked it. That is one rockstar CSA! Can't wait to hear about what you do with the ingredients!

Ricki said...

This sounds just great! One of my favorite pasta dishes of all time is chard and walnuts with buckwheat soba noodles and lots & lots of garlic. I'm going to give this one a try, too! Love the CSA :)

Johanna GGG said...

sounds fantastic - I thought I had seen this before and just looked at my bookmarks and wondered why it wasn't there already but am glad you posted it because I now I will definitely bookmark it - and glad you are enjoying your csa book - never heard that these schemes give seedlings as well as fruit and veg

TahoeJanK said...

I made this recipe this morning to try out before taking it to my daughter's house for our holiday get together! We are all very health conscience and have been looking for recipes to incorporate more healthy greens into our diets. This recipe is WONDERFUL! So good, I ate two helpings for early lunch and so did my husband! The only thing is I need to use more swiss chard the next time, I only had 1 bunch and thought it would be enough, and I only cooked it for about 3 mins instead of 5 as it cooked down pretty fast! Love the garlic, cranberries and toasted walnuts! What a treat! Thank you so much!!!

grace said...

what a gorgeous and peculiar batch of pasta! and i mean peculiar in the nicest sense--all told, it sounds amazing!

Hannah said...

Such an unusual combination of ingredients... Sounds very autumnal, actually! Maybe this is a good one for me to fill away until cooler months. :)

Anonymous said...


I wanted to ask what kind/brand of pasta you generally use for your noodle dishes? Would the Catelli healthy harvest whole wheat/whole grain/flax omega-3 productsbe good choices or would you suggest something else? (I'm not allergic to gluten)

Thank you very much

eatme_delicious said...

Anonymous: I often use the whole wheat Catelli pastas. I also use Prairie Harvest vegetable pasta. There are other good whole wheat pastas that I've seen at Italian grocers too. :)

Sarah S. said...

The walnut, cranberry, greens combo is a winner for sure. Glad you discovered the amazing flavors of toasted walnuts, YUMM!