I make this herby spinach filling often and use it to flavor anything from quesadillas to open-faced "spinach pie" appetizer bites. Mixed with cream and a generous helping of gruyere, the filling facilitates a great baked pasta--one that's perhaps slightly greener than its creamy competition. —Cara Eisenpress
Slowly saute the onion in the olive oil in a large Dutch oven with lid. You don't want it to brown.
Add the shallots, the garlic, and the chard stems, cooking for a few more minutes until soft but not brown. Add the herbs and the salt, stirring to combine.
Put in the chard and wilt it by covering the pot for a few minutes. You may have to do this in two steps if your pot's not big enough to hold all the chard. Mix up the sauteed vegetables from the bottom of the pan.
When the chard tastes done, add the spinach, stirring again, and cover just for 30 seconds to a minute, or until the spinach is wilted. Set aside. (The filling can be made ahead.)
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375°F. Cook the pasta in salty water til very al dente, then drain.
Add the gruyere and the cream to the spinach. Taste for salt and seasonings. Pour in the pasta,
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and cook for about 20 minutes, until the cream is bubbly and reduced and the top of the pasta is brown and crisp.
I'm the founder, editor, and head chef at the blog Big Girls, Small Kitchen (www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com), a site dedicated to easy-to-execute recipes and stories from a quarter-life kitchen. I'm also the author of In the Small Kitchen published in 2011.