Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pasta with Caramelized Onion, Swiss Chard, and Garlicky Bread Crumbs

And anchovies. The New York Times didn't include anchovies in the title of this dish, but they're in there...important to mention since they're probably a deal-breaker for some people.

I used rainbow chard instead of regular Swiss chard, and it made the dish look so vibrant and pretty. The red leaves colored the onions red, too. All the ingredients are in season right now - the chard, garlic, and onion all came from the farmers market. Pasta, bread crumbs, and anchovies were from the store. And best of all, this dish incorporates a whole pound of dark, leafy greens.

3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
5 anchovy fillets
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
1 yellow onion, halved from stem to root and thinly sliced crosswise
Kosher salt and pepper
1 pound Swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped
1/2 pound whole-wheat pasta, such as fusilli

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add 3 anchovies to the skillet; cook until melted, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.

Stir in the bread crumbs and toast until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Wipe the skillet clean and return it to a medium-high heat. Add the oil, the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.

Chop the remaining 2 anchovies and add them to the skillet. Cook until melted. Add the Swiss chard, a handful at a time, and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Cover and keep warm.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain well. Toss with the chard mixture and bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil.

I didn't change anything from the NYT recipe except to use rainbow chard instead of regular green Swiss chard, which really doesn't count as a change. Not that I didn't expect this dish to be good - why would I make something if I didn't think it would be good - but I didn't expect it to be THIS good. I made it in the early evening, before going out to dinner, to eat for lunch over the next few days. But when I tasted it, I couldn't stop eating it. The saltiness of the anchovies and the sweetness of the onions work so well together. If you really, really can't stand the thought of anchovies, I would add parmesan cheese or maybe even some pancetta to make up for the lack of a salty ingredient. But I liked the anchovies. This one's a keeper.


  1. I can't wait to try this...I know that Ezio will love this as the sunday pasta dish!!! I am always trying to add some healthy greens to any dish.

  2. it was really good, you should definitely give it a try! very easy too.

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