I found a gorgeous bunch of rainbow chard at the market the other day, with bright yellow, orange and pinkish red stems and veins of color running through the green leaves, after all the darkness and cold of winter it just felt like a lovely bunch of spring had walked into my day. The whole drive home I thought and thought about what to make with my beautiful rainbow greens and then I came up with this recipe and I’m so happy I did. A simple but perfect combination of sautéed greens, a little garlic, a little zest, fresh mozzarella warmed through with a little hit of saltiness from the sun dried tomatoes and grated pecorino. This comes together in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. I paired this with short, twisty fusilli cooked to al dente perfection, the greens and cheese twirl around the fusilli to create a deliciously complete bite with every forkful.
Rainbow Chard with Melty Fresh Mozzarella & Fusilli Pasta
Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
1 pound Fusilli Pasta
1 large bunch Rainbow Chard or 2 small bunches (at least 12 large leaves)
2-3 large cloves Garlic
5-6 Sundried Tomatoes
4 ounces Fresh Mozzarella
Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
Zest of ½ – 1 whole Lemon
Red Pepper Flakes – just a pinch or more to taste
Cook Pasta in salted water until al dente. BEFORE draining the cooked pasta, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water to add to the sauce.
Chop Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes. Wash Rainbow Chard and then cut into ribbons. I do this by stacking all the leaves and then folding them over lengthwise, then slicing across (a sharp knife should cut through the stack pretty easily). Cut Mozzarella into small cubes.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet (deep enough to hold the veges and pasta), add a good drizzle of Olive Oil and then toss in the chopped Garlic and season with a pinch of salt. Cook until the Garlic is just beginning to get a little color and then add in the chopped Sundried Tomatoes. Stir the Garlic and Tomatoes as they cook another minute or so.
To the Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes, add in about a third of the chopped Rainbow Chard, starting with the chopped stems and some leaves, after a minute or two once the Chard has wilted down a bit, add in another third and stir, adding in the remaining Chard once the last bit has wilted some. Season with a little more salt. Cook the Chard for a few minutes, stirring as you go, until it has wilted but still has it’s vibrant color.
Stir in about 2 – 3 Tablespoons of Grated Romano cheese and then the Lemon Zest and Red Pepper Flakes. At this point you can pour in some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid to start creating a bit of a sauce (note, you may not need to use all the reserved liquid, add a little at a time and more as needed).
Next pour in the cooked Pasta and then the chopped Mozzarella, plus another drizzle of Olive Oil, stir to combine and until the Mozzarella begins to melt into the chard and pasta. Add more liquid if necessary and top with a little more grated Romano if you like.
Serve with extra grated cheese at the table. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes: If you can’t find Rainbow Chard, substitute with Swiss Chard or Beet Greens. Spinach would also be fine, except you’ll need a lot more as it wilts down quite a bit more than chard does.
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Tagged: Lemon Zest, Mozzarella, Pasta, Rainbow Chard, Sun dried tomatoes
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