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Dinner in 35 minutes: Swiss Chard and Rosemary Pesto Pasta

A new take on pesto

Stick with green chard for this pasta dish, because rainbow or red chard will yield a pesto that’s unappetizingly brown. The pesto on its own is good with grilled salmon or chicken. If you have a few extra minutes, toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat until lightly browned. Cool before adding to the pesto mixture.

Swiss Chard and Rosemary Pesto

kosher salt

10 ounces whole-wheat pasta

5 to 6 stems green Swiss chard

several stems flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons packed rosemary leaves

4 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano, or more as needed

1∕2 cup pine nuts

1∕3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed

freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt, then the pasta. Cook for 5 minutes less than the package directs (to keep the pasta from getting mushy).

Meanwhile, separate the chard leaves from their ribs and stems, reserving the stems for another use and stuffing the leaves into a food processor as you work. Pluck enough parsley leaves to yield 1∕4 cup packed and enough rosemary leaves to yield 2 packed tablespoons, and place them both in the food processor. Smash and peel the garlic cloves, then place them in the food processor along with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and pine nuts. Pulse until finely chopped.

With the motor running, gradually add the oil to form a well-incorporated pesto. Taste, and add cheese if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1∕2 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot (off the heat). Add all of the pesto and 1∕4 cup of the cooking water, tossing to coat evenly. If the pesto seems too thick, stir in more cooking water. Serve right away, with more cheese at the table.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Adapted from “The Clean Plates Cookbook: Sustainable, Delicious and Healthier Eating for Every Body,” by Jared Koch and Jill Silverman Hough

The Washington Post

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