Meatless Monday: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti With Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese

The easiest way to eat more greens: saute them in garlic and oil and serve them over pasta.
By: Michelle Buffardi
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FN_Giada De Laurentiis Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese.tif

FN_Giada De Laurentiis Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese.tif

Food Network Giada De Laurentiis' Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese recipe.

©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Swiss chard: you know you're supposed to eat it (leafy greens cure everything from cold sores to the plague, it seems.) But really, does anyone really know what to do with chard? Spinach and lettuce are no-brainers, and everyone's mastered kale by now. But Swiss chard often gets ignored. Don't pass it by the next time you encounter a bunch at the market. The easiest way to cook chard, like many mystery vegetables, is to saute it in a little olive oil and garlic and serve it over pasta.

Giada's Whole-Wheat Spaghetti With Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese makes easy work out of eating more leafy greens. Loads of Swiss chard (14 cups!) get cooked down with onions, garlic, tomatoes and wine for a super-simple, comforting-yet-healthy, easy weeknight pasta dinner. You can even substitute spinach or kale for the chard if you prefer.

Serves: 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 bunches Swiss chard, trimmed and chopped (about 14 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the chard and saute until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, wine, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the tomatoes begin to break down and the chard is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season the chard mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the spaghetti. Add the spaghetti to the chard mixture and toss to combine.

Transfer the pasta to serving bowls. Sprinkle the olives, cheese, and pine nuts and serve.

Calories: 377; Total Fat: 10.5 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 14 grams; Total carbohydrates: 60 grams; Sugar: 9 grams; Fiber: 11 grams; Cholesterol: 4 milligrams; Sodium:474 milligrams

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