Return to Main Recipes Page/Return to Home Page

Penne w/Swiss Chard (Penne con le Bietola) (P, TNT)
Source: From an article by Abby Mandel about Lorenza de Medici and her cooking school as recorded in Pleasures of Cooking Magazine
Serves: 6

6 quarts water
1 slice dry Italian bread, 2" thick (quartered)
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled
5 flat anchovies, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 teaspoon dry, hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil (I use less)
8 ounces penne pasta
1 pound Swiss chard including stems washed, dried and cut to fit the feed tube of a food processor vertically
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring water and 2 teaspoons salt to boil.

Process bread in food processor until finely chopped; pulse about 4 times, then process continuously for 45 seconds. Reserve. (You can also beat up the bread in a bag with a rolling pin or use dried bread crumbs.)

With the motor running, drop garlic cloves through the feed tube and process for about 5 seconds. Add the anchovies and red pepper flakes and pulse 5 times to chop.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring until golden, about 1 minute. Remove to paper towels to drain. Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. *Heat oil, add garlic mixture and stir over low heat until garlic is soft but not brown, about 3 minutes.

Add the penne to boiling water and cook until not quite tender, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, pack the chard into the feed tube and process with the 8mm slicing disk (or cut in 2" lengths and then bunch together and cut about 1/2" slices). When the penne has boiled 8 minutes, drop the chard into the water and cook until tender 3-5 minutes. Drain well and transfer to serving bowl.

Toss pasta with anchovy-garlic mixture and sprinkle bread crumbs on top.

Poster's Notes:
This one is my favorite, and makes a wonderful main dish as well as a good side dish. I haven't had any leftovers so I don't know if it freezes. You do have to like garlic, though.

This is a breeze with a food processor.

*I found that a total of 1/2 cup of oil was sufficient with a little more than 1/4 cup for the bread crumbs and the rest for the anchovy mix. I wouldn't substitute spinach in this recipe; it's too tender, but kale or mustard greens might work. I like to use the red Swiss chard, and although the original recipe doesn't call for it, I usually pass the parmesan cheese.

Posted by Judith Sobel

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A