Friday, September 23, 2011

Simple end of summer Chard and tomato pasta

We had a cold snap here and part of my garden has gone “nite nite”.  All my plants from Hawai'i are now back in the garden window in the house. Yes I have a few poor plants that I brought here from the Islands to share the cold with me. I will have to move my water lilies out of the water soon, that would be the very sad moment that we will be facing 6 months of winter....

Fall is here. I love Fall, I look forward to the beautiful colors, yet I am sad too. We are coming to the end of the growing season. I will be going back to eating “imported” greens and fruit. Well, not really all import from overseas, just trucked in from other states etc. May be it is psychological, I just don't think it taste or smell as good as locally grown products. I am going to enjoy the local produce while we can.

Remember I made a Swiss chard pasta with vodka sauce a couple weeks ago? It was a  pretty good and simple dinner. Here is another version without the vodka, you can always add a few tablespoon of vodka in the sauce with you want. I am using angel hair; this would be even better with a thicker pasta, such as spaghetti and Lots of cheese!

Chard and heirloom tomatoes in cream sauce with Angel Hair pasta
1 large bunches of Chard, (Red Swiss chard, or rainbow chard), cleaned, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 cup of diced heirloom tomatoes.
2 glove of garlic, finely chopped
1 small shallot thinly sliced.
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp pesto
¼ cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp vodka (optional)
Pasta of your choice for 2.
Parmesan cheese, shaved.
Prepare all the vegetable
Heat a pan till hot over medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil. When hot, 
Sauté garlic and shallot for a couple of mins till caramelized. Season with salt.
Add chopped chard, and sauté till soft.
Lower heat to med low, add thyme
Toss in 1 tsp pesto, mix well
Mix in tomatoes, mix well and cook till tomatoes are softened.
Drizzle with ¼ cup of cream and vodka (optional) I didn’t use vodka in this version.
Bring it to boil, lower heat to low and let it cook for a few mins to blend in all the flavor, When the sauce takes a tint of color from the tomatoes, it's ready (This one has a tint of yellow since I am using some yellow heirloom. If you use red tomatoes, the sauce will be almost pink.)
Season with salt and pepper.
To serve:
Pour the sauce over cooked pasta. Top with shaved Parmesan and garnish with thyme
Or you can serve this family style. Toss the cooked pasta into the sauce. Toss to mix and plate in a large bowl. Top wish shaved Parmesan and sprinkle with chopped thyme.

Serve hot with some warm crusty bread.

Serve 2


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