Dinner the other evening was green from start to finish, and to boot, gluten free. Now, you don't have to go that route if you love your traditional semolina pastas. I have been trying to limit my glutens a bit, as I have a skin condition that seems irritated by too many glutens (as well as other baddies) in my diet. SO! I tried out Barilla Pasta's chick pea pasta. I have to say that we loved its nutty flavour. I cooked it al dente so it never got mushy, which can happen real fast with other GF pasta products.
Anyway, the real star of this dish is all the fresh green veg in the slice and dice. Just look! Broccoli, Swiss chard, green onions and their slivered green tops, plus onions and garlic. There is far more veg in this dish than there is pasta.
The recipe comes from Michael Anthony's cookbook called V is for Vegetable. You got it. This is a book ordered by the alphabet and a vegetable or two or three that are the stars of the recipe for each letter. Bribery Pasta highlights using the whole broccoli bundle. The florets get broken into small bite-sized florets and sautéd with onions, garlic, and green scallion onions. The chard gets added to wilt. The herb additions are dried oregano and red pepper flakes. The broccoli stems are slivered into coins and added at the last minute with chopped flat leaf parsley and scallion green slivers to add a crisp crunch to the softer vegetables and the al dente pasta. It's a dish that comes together in a few steps. When drizzled with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with good grated Parmesan, it's completely delicious.
The pasta is cooked ahead of time, drained and tossed with just a bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking together. The key to the dish is to have the ingredients prepped and ready for the pan so that everything is in peak condition in the dish. This is a dish that blends softened vegetables, crisp crunchy vegetables, the al dente pasta, and the cheese. Sorry to stress this so much, but it IS the key to the success of the dish.YUM!
Here's Michael Anthony's recipe. I hope you enjoy it !
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Vidalia onion, halved and sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 large scallions, white and light green lower sections, left whole.
4 large scallion dark green tops, sliced thinly into circles and set aside.
3/4 lb. Swiss chard , washed, and stalks trimmed out and leaves sliced into thick ribbons
2 pinches red pepper flakes
2 pinches dried oregano
1 small head broccoli, florets and stalks separated - florets broken into small bite-sized pieces -
broccoli stalk washed and end trimmed off, then stalk cut into thin coins and set aside
a scant 1/2 lb. short past - rotini, trofie, or gemelli, cooked al dente and tossed with a bit of olive oil
1/2 c. pasta water, for saucing the dish
a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
olive oil for drizzling
Parmesan cheese grated
Making the Dish:
1. Prep all the vegetables and have them on a large plate. Place the herbs in smaller bowls and have them aside and ready.
2. Cook the pasta and when it is almost done, toss the broccoli florets into the pasta water to blanch it for a minute or two. Use a slotted spoon to remove the broccoli and run it under cold water.
3. Drain the broccoli and set it in a bowl. Drain the pasta and let it go back into the pan with some olive oil for tossing. Set aside.
4. In a deep fry pan, add the olive oil measure and the onion and garlic. Heat over medium high heat and toss to let the veg glisten and soften slightly for three minutes.
5. Add the scallion lengths ( I sliced mine length-wise, but you don't have to), red pepper flakes, and dried oregano and cook for a couple minutes.
6. Add the broccoli florets and the Swiss chard ribbons. Add about 1/2 c. water and Kosher salt and black pepper. Cover and cook for a few minutes to wilt the chard leaves.
7. Uncover the pan, and add the pasta. Cover again just long enough to heat the pasta through.
8. Uncover and add the crisp broccoli stalk coins, parsley, scallion coins and toss to combine all the ingredients.
9. Drizzle some olive oil ( or a lump of butter, if you prefer) and top with some grated Parmesan cheese. Correct the salt and pepper and serve with extra cheese for individuals.