Spaghetti with Red Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips

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Before we dive into the food I wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded about their moms.  It was so great reading about your special relationships.  We are all very lucky gals!

Last night’s dinner was a little carb-filled, a bit garlicky, but a lot delicious!  I had originally intended to follow this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and use green Swiss chard, but the produce buyers at HEB/Sprouts/Randalls had other ideas.  When I saw the red Swiss chard in the organic produce section my eyes grew as big as saucers.  The red color would be so pretty against the pasta.  I was sold.

The most time consuming part of this meal was peeling and thinly slicing all the garlic chips.  My hands still smell very strongly of garlic this morning.  Also, if anyone has a tip for perfectly browning both sides of the garlic chips I am all ears.  Without individually flipping them that seems impossible.  Big side note, make sure you don’t completely drain your spaghetti.  You want it to still be wet and coasted with water.  It helps with tossing and gives the noodles a better texture.

Lastly, I transferred my onion/chard mixture to a giant stock pot because the leaves were so luscious and about a foot tall.  They definitely cook down, but would never have fit in my skillet pan.  I really enjoyed how well the red Swiss chard popped in photos.  And be warned it makes A LOT.  We’ll have leftovers for the whole weekend.

Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips (recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes 8-10 servings

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 pounds red Swiss chard, stems and center ribs finely chopped and leaves coarsely chopped separately
1/2 cup water
1 pound good quality spaghetti (imported)
1/2 cup slivered Kalamata olives
8 ounce block of Feta, crumbled

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, add garlic slices and cook until golden brown (about 3 minutes). Transfer garlic with to paper towels to drain.  Press paper towels over top of garlic chips.  Add onions to skillet(with leftover oil) and cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Stir diced chard stems into onion mixture with water and garnish with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook until almost tender (about 5 minutes).  Transfer mixture to a large stock pot and add chard leaves.  Cover and cook until leaves and stems are tender (about 5 minutes).

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti (add 1-2tsp of salt to water).  Drain spaghetti briefly, but while still pasta is still wet and not fully drained transfer to large serving bowl.

Toss spaghetti with chard mixture, and olives.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle feta cheese on, lightly toss.  Top with garlic chips.  Enjoy!

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