Summer flavours in a bowl of pasta
Pasta is our hero. When we think the pantry is bare and there is nothing for supper, pasta is there. When we find ourselves rushed and harried, pasta is there. When we’ve had a difficult day and want to eat our comfort, pasta is there. Whether it is a long slender spaghetti, a perfectly plump penne or a fancy farfalle, pasta has saved many a meals.
When our girls were little, lunch was often noodles tossed in a little olive oil and sprinkled with mizithra cheese. As they got older, the olive oil would be burned, giving a more grown-up flavor to this amazing dish. Sometimes we opt for a heartier meal, and that’s when we whip up some of our parents’ amazing meat sauce. Makaronia me kima, as it is described in Greek, is truly love in a bowl. Warm, filling and incredibly satisfying.
In the summer however, we try our best to eat lighter (when we aren’t eating this) and to use the vegetables which grow so abundantly in our gardens. With the onslaught of cherry tomatoes and Swiss chard, this is a quick and easy meal that our parents make about once a week. Don’t let the simple ingredients and technique fool you however; this is a pasta dish which is fancy enough for company and one which will turn you into a hero yourself 🙂
When preparing the Swiss chard, we tend to cut off the thick stalks because some of our children don’t like it. However, this is not mandatory and we would say that if your family is less picky, keep the stalks in. They add a nice textural element to the dish, and additional nutrients. Regardless of whether or not you choose to keep the stalks, you should end up with 4 – 5 cups of chopped Swiss chard.
Mia Kouppa: Pasta with Swiss chard and tomatoes
- 450 grams penne pasta
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 4 – 5 cups chopped Swiss chard
- 5 garlic cloves, sliced into thin slivers
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- mizithra or parmesan cheese, to taste
- Cook your pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and the garlic to the pan and cook for 2 – 3 more minutes, stirring constantly and being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the Swiss chard and cook for a few more minutes, until the Swiss chard is wilted and cooked. If you are using the stalks as well as the leaves, add the stalks first. Allow them to cook for a few minutes before adding the leaves.
- Place the pasta in a large pot and stir in the contents of the skillet. Mix well and add cheese to taste.
- Serve and Enjoy!!