By: Julia Ossowski
This recipe works well with a variety of pasta shapes. I like to use short shapes such as rigatoni, penne, or campanelle, but spaghetti or bucatini would also be so delicious! The crispy prosciutto topping here is optional but so delicious. If you choose to omit it, just be extra generous with cheese on top to account for that salty, umami flavor.
1 bundle of swiss chard (red or rainbow varieties)
4 cloves garlic
16 oz pasta
½ cup dry white wine, vegetable stock, or reserved pasta water
1 tablespoon of butter
3 slices of prosciutto (optional)
Pecorino romano cheese
Red chili flakes (optional)
Olive oil, salt & pepper
Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, prepare your veg. Remove green tops from leeks and slice in half lengthwise. Rinse between the layers to remove any dirt. Thinly slice leeks into half-moons. Peel and thinly slice 4 cloves garlic. After rinsing and drying swiss chard, pull the leaves off the stems. Thinly sliced the chard stems and set aside. Tear the chard leaves into bite size pieces, approximately 2 inches each.
Add your pasta to the boiling water, cooking just until al-dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil, then fry the prosciutto until crispy. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Turn heat down to medium, add chard stems and leeks along with a pinch of salt. Sauté until soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes (optional) and sauté just until fragrant, 1 minute. Add torn chard leaves along with ½ cup of dry white wine, stock, or pasta water. Stir then cover the pot to allow the chard to steam for about 1 minute. Uncover, continue to sauté until chard is cooked down.
Add al-dente pasta along with a ladle full of pasta water, a knob of butter, and a handful of pecorino. Gently mix, off the heat, until flavors meld. Served topped with fresh cracked pepper, more shaved pecorino, and crispy prosciutto.