Linguine with Swiss Chard and Garlic

    Swiss chard is a delicious member of the beet family. It has a mild beet flavor and is an excellent source of vitamin A. Both the leaves and the ribs are used in this recipe, and if you are a gardener, you’ll find that it is one of the easiest vegetables to grow. You could substitute spinach for the Swiss chard with good results, if you like.

    SERVES 4

    1 pound linguine

    1 to 1ВЅ pounds Swiss chard (about 8 to 10 cups chopped)

    ВЅ cup olive oil

    2 tablespoons butter

    8 cloves garlic, finely chopped

    Вј teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

    ВЅ teaspoon salt

    Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    1. Bring a large (6-quart) pot of water to a boil, add the linguine, and cook until al dente.
    2. Meanwhile rinse the Swiss chard under cold running water until it is very clean, then pat very dry with cotton or paper towels. If the ribs are more than ВЅ inch wide, string them by making a shallow slit in the bottom of each rib and pulling up the strings until they are released. Cut the leaves away from the ribs, chop the ribs into 1-inch pieces, and keep them in a separate pile from the leaves. Chop the leaves into 1-inch pieces.
    3. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
    4. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the chopped Swiss chard ribs, and cook for 2 minutes, continuing to stir often. Add the leaves and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until the leaves are wilted and tender. Do not overcook; they should retain their bright green color. Add the salt and stir to blend.
    5. When the linguine is done drain it thoroughly, then return it to the pot or a warm serving bowl and toss on the chard and its sauce. Serve immediately. Pass a bowl of grated Parmesan cheese at the table and use liberally.