One of the things I love about pasta is that you can pair up seasonal produce at any time of year to create a delicious meal - simply and quickly. We've been getting a fair amount of swiss chard in our veg box recently, this lovely leafy green vegetable is something supermarkets ignore. The leaves wilt down very quickly so I cook the stalks first, creating a flavour bomb with garlic and anchovies. To contrast the sweetness of the chard, I use some fresh cherry tomatoes and capers before finishing the dish luxuriously with some torn up burrata, a grating of Grana Padano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Mafalda Pasta, sometimes spelt Mafaldine, are long ribbons of pasta with crimped edges that look really decorative in your bowl. Buying really great quality pasta makes such a difference in any pasta dish and might only cost you pennies more. Our Armando pasta is slow dried and extruded through bronze dies, it cooks evenly and holds it's bite perfectly.
500g Armando Mafalda Pasta
350g Swiss Chard or Rainbow Chard
5 Cloves of Garlic, sliced
4 Anchovy Fillets, finely chopped (use black olives for a vegetarian version)
200g Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
2tbsp Salted Capers
A good grating of Grana Padano
2-3 Balls of Burrata
4tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling
1tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely diced
1. Start by rinsing off the capers under plenty of cold running water, then leave to soak in more fresh water.
2. Put a large saucepan of water on to boil and season generously with salt. When cooking pasta, you want to be able to taste the salt in the water.
3. Remove the stalks from the chard and slice them into 1cm pieces. Tear the leaves up into pieces, I like to have reasonable sized pieces of chard with the pasta, rather than shredded up chard.
4. In a large frying pan, gently warm the olive oil with the sliced garlic, diced anchovies and chard stalks, stirring every so often. As the oil heats up, the anchovies will just about melt into the oil. After a couple of minutes, add a couple of ladles of water from pasta pan, this will create some steam in the pan to soften the chard stalks. Keep cooking until the stalks are tender, around 5-6 minutes.
5. Once the pasta water is boiling, cook the Mafalda Pasta for 8 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times as it cooks.
6. Throw in the cherry tomatoes with the chard stalks for the last 6-7 minutes, you want the tomatoes to wilt slightly, releasing some of their juices.
7. Now add in the chard leaves, mixing with all the seasoned oil, cooked stalks and tomatoes. The leaves will only take about 2-3 minutes to wilt down, so you can do this just as the pasta is finishing.
8. Drain the pasta and add it to the swiss chard along with the capers and chopped parsley. Toss everything together so the pasta is coated with all the flavoured oil.
9. Divide between 4 large bowls, grate over some Grana Padano, tear up the Burrata and drizzle with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Depending on the season, you can interchange the Swiss chard for cavalo nero, broccoli or spinach.
Foodies, don't forget to tag us on Social feeds and leave a review here if you cook this at home! Ben
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I keep reaching for our delicious Pickled Lemon Paste. It's intense lemon flavour provides a great lift to so many dishes whether it's a stew, sauce, dressing or marinade. This little salad is really quick and simple to prepare. The liquorice flavour of fennel is perfectly suited to carrying strong flavours...
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