I'm not sure why, but I probably wouldn't have tried this dish had I not already been growing Swiss chard. To my knowledge I've ever had chard before and likely this recipe would have been archived away until I eventually dug it out and followed the recipe. I'm so glad that didn't happen though! This dish is wonderful, and both the husband and I will definitely be enjoying chard more often! The ingredients are fresh, flavorful, simple and most of all the dish comes together pretty quickly. Not to mention it's also fairly healthy.
I liked this dish so much, I decided to enter it into Presto Pasta Night, hosted this week by Katie of Thyme for Cooking. Make sure to check out the weekly entries for lots of delicious pasta dishes!
Pasta with Kielbasa and Swiss Chard
3/4 lb. Swiss Chard (preferably red; from 1 bunch)
1/2 lb. kielbasa, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 c. water
1/4 tsp. dried hot red-pepper flakes
3/4 lb. penne
1 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for serving
1. Cut out center ribs and stems from chard, then thoroughly wash, along with leaves, in several changes of cold water. Cut ribs and stems crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and coarsely chop leaves.
2. Cook kielbasa in oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 2-3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Cook chard ribs and stems with salt in fat remaining in pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chard leaves, water, and red-pepper flakes and simmer, partially covered, until chard stems are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir in kielbasa.
3. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente, then reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water and drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta to chard mixture with cheese and salt to taste and toss until combined well. Thin with some of the reserved pasta water if necessary.
Obtained from: Gourmet Magazine, June 2006
What I did: I used whole wheat penne, turkey smoked sausage and rainbow chard. Any pasta with ridges would work in place of the penne. Any variety/color of chard would also work. I misread the part about adding the cheese to the pasta before combining, and instead just sprinkled a little on top. Either way would work. I did not need to use the reserved pasta water, but some could probably be added to the leftovers to ensure they don't become dry.
Pretty rainbow chard