Whole-wheat pastas have a firmer, chewier texture than white-flour pastas, and a robust flavor that stands up well to strong-flavored olive oil-based sauces or pestos.
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cups trimmed Swiss chard, sliced into 1/2-inch strips
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups hot cooked (about 4 cups uncooked) whole-wheat pasta shells
4 teaspoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
To prepare pesto, combine boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes or until soft. Drain tomatoes in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup liquid.
Drop tomatoes, almonds, cheese, basil, and garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Keeping processor on, add salt and red pepper. Slowly pour 1 1/2 tablespoons oil through food chute; process until well-blended, scraping sides. Add reserved soaking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture appears smooth. Set aside.
To prepare greens, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add Swiss chard; stir-fry 1 minute or until leaves turn bright green. Add water, salt, and pepper; cover and cook 2 minutes.
Combine pesto and hot cooked pasta in a large bowl; toss well. Add greens mixture; toss well. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
So yummy! You can easily double the chard b/c it shrinks down so much, but the pesto is just amazing.
I used sun dried tomatoes packed in oil (could not find dried), and just used a some of the packing oil in place of the olive oil and soaking water. Worked beautifully.
We also made the full amount of pesto, but only half of the pasta and reserved the extra pesto for sandwiches, etc. Was awesome on a grilled cheese!
This was a delicious dish with a wonderful nutty, rich flavor! I'm adding this to my list of favorites I substituted pine nuts for the almonds but otherwise made as written. I loved the contrast of the chard in flavor, texture, and color.
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