The simplicity of this recipe is what makes it so good. Flavorful pancetta gives the dish a delicately salty, meaty quality without the aggressive smokiness bacon would add. Use any greens--turnip or collard greens, kale, or curly endive.
1 pound Swiss chard
3 ounces pancetta, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound uncooked linguine
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Rinse and drain chard; pat dry with paper towels. Remove stems and center ribs from chard, and cut ribs and stems crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Cut chard leaves into 1-inch strips.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pancetta; cook 6 minutes or until browned. Add onion and garlic, and cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add chard stems, and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chard leaves and red pepper; cook 5 minutes or until chard wilts, tossing frequently.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the pasta in a colander over a bowl; reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Add reserved pasta water and pasta to chard mixture; cook over medium-high heat 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Add parsley, salt, and black pepper; toss well to combine. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese.
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Definitely not our favorite. We took the suggestion to add a little less pasta than the recipe calls for. Don't know if the swiss chard was just overpowering the dish, or what. Don't think we're up for trying this one again...so much other good stuff out there.
I thought the flavor of this was terrific. BUT LISTEN TO THE OTHER REVIEWERS: USE HALF OF THE AMOUNT OF PASTA! I wish I would have listened to them... I subbed bacon for the pancetta and doubled the chile flakes. Nice, fresh flavor and good way to use chard. I'm assuming you can sub collards, spinach, or other greens and it would taste just as great. We ate this with a small green salad and garlic bread.
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