10 December 2008

Spaghetti with Crispy Garlic Chard Ragout*

This is another recipe I found in one of my mum's magazines- Gourmet, to be exact. You might remember I mentioned making a Giada de Laurentiis recipe a few weeks ago for pasta and chard that was utterly underwhelming.  Well this Gourmet recipe was exactly what I was hoping for the first time around: delicate chard infused with garlic punctuated by sharp bites of feta cheese, briny olives and bursts of sweet raisin, all topped off with crunchy garlic chips. Basically perfect. So good in fact, that I ate the leftovers for 3 meals running, something that I never do.

The recipe below is very similar to the original with some minor modifications. I cut back on the amount of pasta from a carb overloaded 1 lb. for 4-6 people to 10 oz. and shifted the other proportions accordingly (well maybe I decreased the amount of oil significantly to...). Give this one a try- it does take a little time but it's well worth it. Recipe after the jump.

Spaghetti with Crispy Garlic Chard Ragout
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
Serves 4-

10 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 c. pasta cooking water
3 T. olive oil
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/3 c. raisins
bunch of Swiss Chard (a small handful when you grab around the stems), stems and center red ribs chopped into bite sized pieces and leaves roughly chopped
1/2 t. salt
fresh black pepper
1/3 c. kalamata olives, roughly chopped
4-5 oz. feta cheese

- Set a large pot of water for the pasta on to boil.

- Add oil and garlic to a large skillet (I used a non-stick since that's what I've got) over medium heat and cook garlic until golden, around 3 minutes. Remove garlic to a paper towel lined plate.

- Add onion to remaining oil in skillet ad cook until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the raisins and cook for a minute than add the chard stems and give a good stir. [Timing note- add the pasta to the pot of boiling water now] Add in 1/2 c. water, the salt and several grates of pepper to the onion and chard stems and turn the heat up to medium high. Pop on the lid and let it bubble away for 5 minutes then stir in the leaves, recover and cook for another 5 minutes (until the chard is tender).

- Drain spaghetti (don't forget to save 1/2 c. of the pasta cooking water). Toss the spaghetti with the chard mixture and olives, added as much pasta water as you need to coat everything. There won't be that much sauce, but it shouldn't look dry. Plate the pasta and top with crumbled feta and garlic chips and enjoy.

*I know this doesn't seem like a traditional ragout and it isn't but I needed a better name for this dish than pasta with chard and garlic.   I wanted something that would convey a little sophistication and excitement and since one of the meanings of ragout, according to Merriam-Webster, is mixture I though it would work just fine.


Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks really delicious. I love chard, it's one of my favorite green leafy things, and this would be a great new way to enjoy it.

kat said...

It does sound really flavorful