Friday, September 6, 2013

Peperoncino spaghetti with swiss chard and chickpeas

This is a quick and easy weeknight pasta with spunk. The peperoncino spaghetti is already infused with the chili pepper but the heat is not overwhelming. Pairs well with the earthiness of the chickpeas and Swiss chard which helps to balance the heat from the chili peppers. The fresh shavings of Parmesan cheese adds a rich salty bite. The time taken to boil the pasta and a few extra minutes to prep is enough time to put dinner on the table.

Peperoncino spaghetti with Swiss chard and chickpeas
8 oz spaghetti with dried peperoncino
1 cup canned chickpeas
1 bunch organic Swiss chard leaves and stems
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Aged Parmesan cheese for serving
Good quality extra virgin olive oil for finishing
  1. Place a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta as per the directions on  the package.
  2. In the meantime, clean the Swiss chard and separate the leaves from the stems. Slice the stems into quarter inch pieces and set aside. Lay the leaves on top of each other and roll them. Once rolled slice the roll into thin slices.
  3. In a large heavy bottomed saute pan over medium heat add the olive oil and the minced garlic, along with the chickpeas (without any liquid). Add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir and cook till the garlic has softened and the chickpeas have light brown spots. Now add the chopped Swiss chard stems, 1/4 teaspoon more kosher salt and continue to cook for another 5 minutes till they have softened. Add the leaves at this point and mix well. Cook for another 3 minutes and add the drained pasta with a few tablespoons of pasta water to bring it all together.
  4. Transfer to the serving plate. Drizzle some finishing oil over the pasta and serve with a healthy grating of Parmesan cheese.
Serves 3 as a Main course with a salad

Note: Two resources where you can buy spaghetti with dried peperoncino. I used the second resource as they have a store in NYC at Chelsea Market

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