Photo: Kelly Rossiter
The sun is warming up, the robins are here, my garden is growing, and I'm starting to dream about green leafy vegetables. So I broke down the other day and bought some Swiss chard. This is actually the hardest time of the year for me, when I'm really tired or root vegetables, but still 6 weeks away (at least) from some spring vegetables.
My husband had requested something light for dinner, so I made some pasta using my canned tomatoes (I think I might just have enough to last until the fall canning), the swiss chard and some mushrooms. Nothing terribly exciting, but a good, quick weeknight dinner without a lot of effort. In the meantime, I'll be reading recipes for baby spinach and wild leeks.
If you want a thicker sauce for this, you could add some tomato paste. I like the fresher flavour of just using the juice from the jar, but you might want something that sticks to the pasta a bit better. Leave out the Parmesan cheese and you have a vegan dish.
Pasta with Swiss Chard and Mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 -12 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 can tomatoes, roughly chopped, with juice
2 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stems removed, roughly chopped
1 - 2 sprigs fresh oregano or thyme
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
Pasta for 2
Parmesan cheese for garnish
1. In a medium sized skillet, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook at medium-low heat until translucent, about 5 or 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute.
2. Add mushrooms and increase heat slightly. Cook until the mushrooms have thrown off their moisture and started to brown. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, if using, chili flakes and oregano and cook until heated through. Add Swiss chard and cook until wilted, just a couple of minutes
3. Meanwhile, cook whatever pasta shape you desire, until al dente. Drain pasta and top with sauce and add cheese, if using.