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Second -- Get your Vegetables Ready

  • 2 bunches of Swiss Chard
Pull the stalks apart and one at a time I rinse them clean.  Lay the stalks on paper towels and pat them dry.  Remove the thickest part of the stalk and discard, saving the tender part of each leaf.  Slice the leaves crosswise into 2 inch strips.  Set the leaves aside.  ​

Last -- Finish Preparing your Pasta
Drain the pasta and return it to the pot you cooked it in.  Add to the pasta 2 tbsp butter and toss so the butter melts.  Add the oil and walnuts and the cheese and toss again.  Plate the pasta and sprinkle each portion with the remaining toasted walnuts.  Season the pasta with a couple of twists of fresh ground black pepper.

Right next to the pasta spoon a portion of the swiss chard.  Use a slotted spoon or you will have pasta swimming in white wine and butter sauce.


First -- Get Your Pasta Water Ready
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  As soon as it boils reduce to a simmer until you are ready to drop in the pasta you have decided to use.

Fourth -- Infuse Oil with Garlic

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
Heat olive oil and garlic in a sauté pan over medium heat.  You must watch this as well to make sure the garlic doesn't burn.  The garlic should turn a light brown color on all sides.  When it does remove the garlic from the sauté pan and turn the heat off.  Add to the oil 1/2 of the chopped walnuts.


Fifth -- Boil Pasta and Prepare Swiss Chard

Return pasta water to a boil.  Add 1/2 box and cook according to the instructions.

Slice the leaves crosswise into​
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
Add to a sauté pan over medium heat.  Once the garlic is brown remove it from the sauté pan (just like you did before) and reduce the heat to medium low.  Add​ the swiss chard to the sauté pan stir it around to coat it with the oil.  This is not like baby spinach, it takes a little longer to become tender.  It could take as long as 8 minutes.  When tender, add 1/4 cup dry white wine and butter.  Start with 1 tbsp of butter.  Taste on leaf and decide if you want to add a little more.  

Third -- Toast the Walnuts
  • 1 cup halved walnuts
Place in a dry sauté pan over medium heat.  You must watch them the entire time because you can quickly go from toasted to burned walnuts.  If that happens you must discard them and start over. ​  You want the walnuts to get a dark brown  (kind of the color of tea, not coffee).  You will also notice they release a fragrance as they approach the right color.   Coarsely chop the walnuts when cool.


Next you probably want to grate some parmigiano reggiano cheese.  I think you will need at least 1/3 of a cup.  This is really a matter of taste.  If you like a cheesy flavor great more and put it out on the table.


Dessert
Serve red and green grapes with a piece of fontina cheese and Carr's whole wheat crackers.


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In the wintertime I have made a very similar meal, however, rather than pasta I use roasted spaghetti squash.  

I take two spaghetti squashes halve them lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and fibers.  Then I place the lightly oiled cut side down on a baking tray and roast them for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. 

While they are roasting I toast the walnuts and sauté garlic in 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 4 tbsp butter.  I combine the walnuts and butter in a pan.  When the spaghetti squash is roasted, with a fork, I loosen up the strings of the squash and put it in the pan with the walnuts and butter.  I add chopped basil, lots of grated parmigiano reggiano and toss everything together.  

This is an incredibly rich and filling meal.  You don't need another thing.


If you are only cooking for two people 1/2 box is sufficient.


I think fontina cheese is too bland for dessert.  I would chose something that has a little bit more bite to it.