The inspiration for flavours in this dish and its variations comes from the traditional pasta puttanesca (literally translated as “whore’s spaghetti”) which is such an unfortunate name because it tastes anything but cheap!
This dinner comes together in a flash (literally as long as it takes the pasta to cook) so it’s perfect for when you arrive home starving and have to eat NOW. The great thing is you can make a whole whackload of substitutions, like spinach for the chard and fresh over sundried tomatoes and it would still taste awesome! I have also done a non-vegan version of this with tuna, sweet pepper, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, parsley and garlic and capers.
I feel some of the best recipes are the simplest ones. As long as you use good quality ingredients and cook with lots of love, the end result will undoubtedly taste gourmet. 🙂
Swiss chard is from the same family as beets and contain some of the same benefits. They have a ridiculous amount of vitamin K (like 800% of your daily intake) which is great for your bones, are a good source of fibre, vitamin C and A and contain the phytonutrient betalains (the rich colour found in their stems) which helps manage inflammation.
Last year, I suggested that my parents try growing chard in their garden and the results were gorgeous! Just look at the photo below! The stems were young and tender so I was able to eat this gorgeous bouquet raw. With older bunches, you can either cut the thicker stems and cook them before the leaves or save them for juicing. I can’t wait to try growing it this year on my balcony!
Spaghetti with Sundried Tomatoes, Swiss Chard and Olives
Ingredients (serves 2):
- dried organic spelt or quinoa spaghetti for two people
- 1 bunch of organic swiss chard leaves
- 10 organic black olives
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or minced
- 1/4 cup sliced organic sundried tomatoes
- 1 tsp. chili flakes (more or less depending on how much kick you like!)
- 1/4 cup organic parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Add your spaghetti and cook according to package directions.
- Rinse the swiss chard well, and slice into thin 1/2 inch strips. Don’t worry about excess water on the leaves because it will help them wilt during cooking. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium low heat. Add swiss chard with some sea salt (it keeps ’em green). Don’t worry about them hogging the pan. They’ll cook down. 🙂
- Once they start to wilt a bit, add the olives and sundried tomatoes and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes more. Sprinkle with chili flakes and cook for another minute.
- When the pasta is al dente, toss with swiss chard mixture in the pan. If it starts to get a little dry, add a little bit of the pasta water. At the last minute toss in the parsley and add an extra drizzle of EVOO.
- Divide between two plates and devour with some red wine!