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Pasta with Bright Lights Swiss Chard
© William Meppem

Pasta with Bright Lights Swiss Chard

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Bright Lights Swiss chard has ribs that are ruby red, Day-Glo orange, white and shocking yellow—all in the same plant—but any variety of Swiss chard can be substituted.

  1. 1 1/2 pounds Bright Lights Swiss chard
  2. 1/2 pound malloreddus pasta (see Note)
  3. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  4. 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  6. 1 tablespoon fine lemon zest strips, cut with a zester
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (1/2 packed cup)
  1. Cut the chard stems crosswise 1/2 inch thick. Cut the leaves into 1/2-inch-thick strips. In a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the stems until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the stems to a plate. Add the chard leaves to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the leaves and let cool, then coarsely chop.
  2. Cook the malloreddus in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook over low heat until the garlic is golden, about 3 minutes. Add the chard stems and leaves and season with salt and pepper. Add the malloreddus to the skillet and toss until hot. Transfer the pasta to a large, warmed bowl, scatter the Gorgonzola on top and drizzle with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Using 2 large spoons, toss briefly to melt the cheese slightly; serve at once.
Notes Malloreddus is a small Sardinian ridged pasta that is often flavored with saffron. It can be white, bright yellow or tricolored, and it pairs beautifully with the multicolored chard. Malloreddus is available by mail order from Dean & DeLuca, 800-999-0306.

Suggested Pairing

A recipe with many diverse ingredients—this one includes sharp, distinctive chard, the curveball of Gorgonzola, carmelized garlic and lemon zest—needs a wine that is able to complement (not compete with) all of its flavors. Look for a Sauvignon Blanc. The naturally grassy quality of this grape matches the fresh green flavors of the chard, while its acidity cuts through the richness of the Gorgonzola and garlic. Look for a bottling from California, Australia or Argentina.

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