Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Spaghetti

I call this Christmas Spaghetti because when it's all done, it's red from the tomatoes and green for the chard, hence the name Christmas Spaghetti!'s actually a pure delight from the heavy baked dishes that come along with the season. A friend of mine gave me a bunch of organic red chard the other day. It looked fabulous, i thought to myself i need to find something really special to make out of this chard. It's been a "cooked" holiday season this year as opposed to a "raw" holiday last year. People seem to really enjoy the sights and smells better coming for a kitchen stove and oven rather that a dehyrdrater and vita mixer! Nevetheless, this is a great side dish or main dish if you will...

This is also a quick and easy dish that fills you up and is healthy to boot!

Makes 4 servings.

2 tbs pine nuts
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil (Bariani is preferred)
2 organic onions, thinly sliced
2 bunches red chard, trimmed and chopped (about 14 cups)
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 diced organic tomatoes with their juice
1/4 cup cooking sherry (or dry white wine)
1/4 tsp crushed dried red pepper flakes
salt (himalyan pink is preferred)
8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsly chopped
2 tbs freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pine nuts on a heavy baking sheet to tast in oven for approx. 10 minutes. Keep checking so they don't get too dark. Set aside to cool when done.

2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the chard and sauted until it wilts, about 2-4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stire in the tomates with their juice, the sherry or wine, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down and the chard is very tender, about 7 minutes. Season the chard to taste with salt and pepper.

3. while performing step 2, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring often to prevent tghe pasta from sticking together, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8-10 minutes. Drain. Add the spaghetti to the chard mixture and toss to combine.

4. Transfer the pasta to bowls, sprinkle with the pine bnuts, olives and cheese on top and serve.

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