Monday, July 13, 2009

Garlicky Beet Greens & Swiss Chard Orecchiette

Throwing a bunch of stuff together and mixing it with some pasta is a huge bang-for-the-buck meal, and it's the perfect dish when you just don't feel like making something complicated or time-consuming.

I had some beet greens (you didn't throw the tops of your beets away when you made those burgers did you?), some Swiss chard, a few leftover canned plum tomatoes and a whole lotta garlic sitting around.  And of course a bottle of red wine. Sounds like dinner to me.

Garlicky Beet Greens & Swiss Chard Orecchiette
serves 4
1 bunch beet greens, chopped, including stems
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped, stems discarded ( you can save them and roast them with some salt, pepper and olive oil. yum.)
5-7 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp (give or take) red pepper flakes
4 tbsp exra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter
freshly grated parmesan
5-6 canned or fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
10 oz dried orecchiette pasta (if you can't find orecchiette for some reason, use a smallish pasta, such as shells, that will "catch" bits of greens and garlicky goodness.)

Over low heat, let the garlic infuse into the olive oil for about 10-15 minutes. 
Turn the heat up to medium, add the butter and red pepper flakes. Saute for a few minutes.
Add the greens,  tomatoes, and salt and black pepper to taste. 
Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the greens are extremely tender and any excess liquid from the tomatoes has cooked off.
Make sure to taste periodically and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
Meanwhile, boil the pasta in salted water. I know most recipes say to "cook according to the package directions," but unless you like your pasta to turn into porridge, I suggest you shave some minutes off of the recommended time and get it out of the water while it's still al dente. Do not rinse it.
Stir the drained pasta into the greens sauce and plate it up. Sprinkle some fresh grated parmesan or pecorino romano and a little more ground black pepper on top. 
Enjoy with a glass (or two, or three ... but who's counting?) of red wine.

1 comment:

  1. I made this and it was great. Might add a little anchovy paste next type. Great recipe as is though!