This week, big bundles of rainbow chard from the grocery store will have to do. Slivered and gently sautéed in olive oil, the chard gets tossed with pasta and Sicilian White Pesto — made with pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and golden raisins. It's nutty and sweet, garlicky and spicy: a combination of flavors perfected by the Sicilians you just have to try.
Pasta with Rainbow Chard and Sicilian White Pesto
If you can't find good pine nuts (or they are prohibitively expensive), use more walnuts instead.
Leftover pesto can be stored in an airtight jar, covered with a layer of olive oil, for up to 10 days.
Serves 3-4, with about 1 cup of leftover pesto
- 1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 tsp. dried oregano
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 T. olive oil
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the rainbow chard:
- 1 bunch rainbow chard, washed, patted dry and cut into 1 inch slivers, woody stems discarded, composted, or saved to make hummus
- 1 T. olive oil
For the pasta:
- 3/4 lb. fettucine or other long pasta
- 1 cup Sicilian white pesto
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup pasta water
- Bring a large pot of water on the stove to boil. While waiting, sauté the rainbow chard in the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. After 5 minutes or so, or as soon as the greens are wilted and soft, set aside in a bowl. Keep the frying pan out to saute the pesto; no need to wipe it clean.
- Make the pesto by placing the pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until it resembles wet granola. Add the oregano and red pepper flakes. Pulse a few more times.
- Heat the olive oil in the frying pan over low heat, add the pesto, the raisins, salt and pepper. Sauté gently, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes.
- Once the water boils add 1 T. Kosher salt and then the pasta. Cook until just tender to the bite. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
- Toss the pasta with one cup of the pesto and the chard. Add a little pasta water if it seems dry. Top with the Pecorino Romano cheese and toss well.