Pappardelle smothered in lemony Swiss chard pesto with Pecorino and pine nuts is a new twist on an old favorite.
Question: What (seemingly) little things can put you in a good mood at the drop of a hat? I’d love to know!
For me, oh gosh, let’s see…it could be as simple as a delicious cup of coffee in a nice sturdy mug that fits my hand perfectly or when somebody else makes me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (always tastes better, right?), or, I know, a crackling fire under a starry sky. Oooooh – a leisurely stroll through a bookstore…an easy jog on a crisp sunny morning. I’d love to keep going but I’m sure you have other things to get to (ha!)…
I could do this all day.
You want to know what puts my guy in a good mood? Pasta. Probably second only to pizza. (If you follow along, you already knew that. 😉 )
So when Dom went poking in the fridge the other day looking for orange juice he saw the pappardelle with pesto sitting there, and – his. day. was. made.
This lemony Swiss chard pesto with Pecorino and pine nuts is a nice alternative to the others. Though basil pesto owns my heart and parsley comes in a close second, Swiss chard pesto can absolutely run with the big dogs.
Its flavor is milder but makes for a hearty sauce that’s a bit unusual. It’s cheesy and garlicky and has a nice kick. Let’s face it – we could put cheese and garlic on plywood and it’ll taste good. So, you know it’s a winner.
I know what you’re thinking…this is a perfect meal for Meatless Monday…
And you know what?
You’d be right!
- 1½ lbs. Swiss chard, stems removed
- 3 large cloves garlic, grated
- ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
- ¾ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- Big pinch of red pepper flakes, plus more for seasoning
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb. pappardelle
- Bring two large pots of salted water to a boil.
- Prepare an ice bath with a colander.
- Blanch the Swiss chard in one pot of the boiling water, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer immediately to the ice water.
- Drain by squeezing the leaves in a ball in a clean kitchen cloth.
- Put the cooked chard, garlic, pine nuts, cheese, lemon zest and juice, and red pepper flakes into the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse until the mixture begins to break down and come together.
- Add enough olive oil to just get it to come together.
- Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In the meantime, add the pappardelle to the other pot of boiling water.
- Cook until al dente.
- Reserve ½ cup cooking liquid, then drain the pasta.
- Return pasta to the pot and add pesto, stirring constantly for about a minute.
- Add pasta liquid if it seems dry.
- Spoon the pasta into bowls, top with additional cheese and red pepper flakes.