Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rainbow Chard Pasta

Lately my husband and I have been ordering Bountiful Baskets every week to make sure we always have a steady supply of produce and we aren't paying an arm and a leg for it.   If you haven't done it before, it's really a great option to save some money and make sure you are getting your fruits and veggies.  $15 for about 30 lbs of produce.  It's half veggies and half fruit, and always good stuff.  They try to get stuff as local as possible, so you know it's not been sitting in a truck forever.

One of the things about Bountiful Baskets is that it's always different.  Every week you go pick it up and you never know what is going to be inside. Sometimes you get stuff you've never seen before, and sometimes it's stuff you've used your whole life.  I like the adventure it brings because it forces me to try new recipes and eat new things. This time we got some Rainbow Swiss Chard, and it was one of those things I have rarely, if ever, used. I didn't really know what I was going to do with it, even though I know there are lots of options, and I was kind of pondering things before I decided to cook with it.

Yesterday Bountiful Baskets had a post on Facebook asking people to share what they made for dinner last night. I happened to find a comment from someone saying that they sauteed it and pureed it and made a pasta sauce with it.  I thought..."hmm...that sounds like an interesting idea I could try out that I could probably get my husband to try out...." and here we are! I promise it turned out really delicious and you will be surprised at how much you'll like it.  Even my 12 month old ate it up.  It was tasty.

Rainbow Chard Pasta (with Chicken and Grape Tomatoes)

2 bunches rainbow or red swiss chard, stems removed and chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp granulated garlic, or 2 cloves chopped garlic
salt and pepper
1/4 c water

1 can evaporated milk
1 can chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 c parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

2 chicken breasts
1 clam shell grape tomatoes
1 lb pasta (I used whole wheat penne, but you can use any short cut pasta you like.  I don't recommend spaghetti though)

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add onions and garlic.  Saute til they become tender, and then add chopped chard. Continue to saute until it becomes soft and tender and the chard reduces by half its size.  Add salt and pepper, and stir again.  Dump entire contents into your blender. Add the water, and blend until mixture is smooth.  Set aside.

Turn the broiler on in your oven.  Season chicken with granulated garlic and salt and pepper, and broil for 35-40 minutes.   While this is going, bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the pasta.

In a saucepan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and the butter until butter melts, and then add flour.  Whisk until combined and cook for about a minute.  Whisk in chicken broth and then evaporated milk and simmer for 5 minutes, and then add garlic, and poultry seasoning.  Let this simmer for a few minutes and then add the cheese and stir in until completely incorporated into the sauce.  Add the chard puree to the sauce, and stir until completely incorporated.

**this sauce makes a lot, so you may want to use the other half for a different recipe.  I plan to use the second half for something for dinner tomorrow.**

Cook pasta according to pkg directions in the boiling water, and then drain.  Place in a large serving bowl and add grape tomatoes and sauce while still hot.   Cut broiled chicken into bite sized strips and toss with pasta and sauce and tomatoes.  Serve hot with more parmesan cheese on top.

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