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Author Notes: OK, so I know this isn't an Italian dessert, but swiss chard is showing up in my CSA box on a regular basis and I've been having a lot of fun trying all sorts of flavor combinations with it. This is the latest. I added some pasta and sliced tomatoes to make it a very hearty side dish to roast chicken or a light one-dish meal that could be served with some crusty bread. For lunch the next day, I added a fried egg on top which was really a great addition and added a little "creaminess" to the dish. The overall flavor combination that gets created between the bacon, chicken broth, tomatoes and soy sauce is really great. And it looks very colorful on the plate. I used small pasta called Acini di Pepe, but Israeli couscous would be a great substitute. - TheWimpyVegetarian
- 1/4 cup Acini di Pepe small pasta or Israeli couscous
- 1 very large bunch of red swiss chard (about 10 large leaves)
- 5 slices of bacon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- grated parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil and cook the pasta according to box directions.
- Tear the leaves of the swiss chard from the central rib. Discard the ribs. When the pasta is ready, remove it from the pot and cook the swiss chard in the same pot until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well by using a spoon to press down on the chard in a colander.
- Slice the bacon into small lardons and fry until crispy in a large saute pan. Remove, set aside and pour off the grease. In the same saute pan, melt the butter and saute the onion until soft and transluscent. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
- Add the bacon back into the saute pan along with the pasta, swiss chard and tomatoes. Toss to combine well. Add the chicken broth and cook for 3-4 minutes to slightly reduce. Add the soy sauce, crushed red pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another minute and pour into a serving bowl. Before serving, grate some parmesan cheese on top.
- Close your eyes, inhale, take a bite, and you can imagine yourself in Northern Italy in a flash without the cost of the airfare.