Rigatoni with Swiss chard

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable you may have noticed in the produce department but have never used. I usually select rhubarb chard, a more colorful variety with bright red stem and veins. Here's a delicious way to give it a try and to reap its nutritional benefits. Leafy greens, such as Swiss chard and kale, are excellent sources of vitamins A (in the form of beta carotene) and C, as well as iron, magnesium, and potassium.

12 ounces rigatoni (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch-long by ½-inch-wide strips
¼ cup coarsely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
8 cups (about 8 ounces) coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Garnish (optional): freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat; add salt, then the rigatoni.

When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the rigatoni. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for about 12 to 14 minutes, or according to package instructions, until al dente.

While the rigatoni is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium; stir in the chicken broth, chard, butter, and pepper; cover and cook until the chard and the bell pepper are tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the balsamic vinegar and salt.

When the rigatoni is done, drain well; return to the pot. Add the chard mixture and toss. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning.


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