Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rotini with Tomatoes, Feta and Roasted Swiss Chard

I found Swiss chard, both green and rainbow, at the Yellow Green Farmer's Market last week and grabbed a bunch of each. While looking for recipes, I found one for Roasted Swiss Chard with Feta at AllRecipes.com. It sounded good, but I thought it needed more, and I wanted to make it into a main dish. After mentally playing with a few options, I thought garlic, tomatoes, seasoning and pasta would be good additions. I like Barilla Plus pasta because it's more nutritious than regular. Here's the result, a good vegetarian main dish or a hearty side for roasted chicken or pork. 

Chard is a lot of work. The stems are really tough and need a lot more cooking than the leaves. The leaves have to be stripped off the stems, and the stems chopped to be cooked longer than the leaves do. One more thing: for salads, sandwiches, etc., I will use reduced fat feta - don't try it for this. It won't melt the way the real stuff does.
  • 1 bunch green Swiss chard
  • 3/4 pound Barilla Plus Rotini pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Roasted Garlic and Herb Seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, optional 
  • 4 ounces crumbled Garlic and Herb feta cheese
  • 1 14 ounce can petite diced tomatoes

Heat oven to 350. Wash the chard thoroughly. Strip the leaves from the stems. Chop the stems and combine with the garlic, onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil and one teaspoon McCormick seasoning. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread the stem mixture on it. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the chard cooks, chop the leaves and toss with remaining olive oil, seasoning and red pepper flakes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. 

After the 15 minutes, add the leaves to the baking sheet and mix with the stems. Sprinkle the feta all over and bake another 20 minutes. Toss the cooked pasta with the can of tomatoes and their juice and heat through. Toss with the Swiss chard mixture. Serve immediately.