Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring Lemon Pasta with Chard

So simple, this is hardly a recipe... 

I was hungry and needed something in a hurry for lunch, luckily I had some fresh pasta, which takes a few minutes to cook.  So, without much fore-thought, I just put together a simple sauce for the pasta based on what was close at hand.  I loved the combination of lemon and greens.

I didn't add much cheese to keep it light.  The cheese can be omitted entirely, just add an extra virgin olive oil that is green and fruity.   

1/2 pound fresh pasta
big glug of olive oil
a large shallot, finely minced
a bunch of rainbow chard, de-ribbed and chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
red pepper flake
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 oz soft goat cheese

Put a large pot of water on high heat and bring to a simmer, turn the heat down a bit, but keep it simmering so the water is ready when you want to pop in the pasta.  (be sure to add a nice bit of salt to water before adding the pasta)

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan, add shallot and cook, stirring for a few minutes.  Add chopped chard, salt, pepper, and red pepper flake - stir from the bottom several times. 

Meanwhile add the fresh pasta to the simmering water and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes (or follow package directions). 

As the chard just begins to cook down and lose a bit of it's structure, add the lemon juice and turn off the heat.  Add the goat cheese in small pieces, stir into the mixture.

Drain pasta when its cooked (it will be cooked when its soft, but still has a bit of a 'bite' to it).  Add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir to incorporate.

- use any pasta you like (corn, quinoa, kamut, etc.)
- a chopped tomato would be nice, add at the end, so it is fresh, not cooked
- if using dried pasta, get the water boiling and add the pasta.  the sauce will probably be ready and waiting for the pasta to finish cooking
- add whatever veggies you like, roasted veggies would be especially nice
- add some fresh herbs, basil would be wonderful

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