One additional benefit of moving to a smaller community is being able to connect with all types of interesting people, from farmers to government officials, from ranchers to antique dealers and all in-between. After moving to Rapid City, we discovered more interesting people and places in one month than we had been able to find in our previous hometown in a whole year. Without even trying very hard, we became members of a local co-operative natural foods grocery, found a delightful all-natural ingredient bakery, a goat farmer, a family owned natural pet food store, a local wine maker, and even a community supported agriculture vegetable farmer.
Due to winter lingering in the area through the month of April, all local fresh produce was delayed in coming this year. That is why we were jumping for joy when our vegetable farmer informed us a couple of weeks ago that some greens were finally available. The only catch was that we had to go pick them up at his farm instead of him delivering them to town. So, we took a 20-mile trip to Battle Creek Gardens, and got us some fresh spinach, radishes, and rainbow chard.
Everything looked and tasted delicious, but I was especially smitten with the large, healthy bunches of chard. I had to make something special with them. Thanks to The Wright Recipes, I found something I could easily adapt to our pork-free diet. Hope you would enjoy it, too.
Baked Chard Pasta
- 1 large Yukon Gold potato, quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1 bunch rainbow chard (about 10 oz), trimmed, greens and stalks sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 lb cubed smoked Fontina cheese
- 1 lb rigatoni
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Cook pasta (for those sensitive to gluten, use gluten-free pasta) in boiling salted water according to package directions; drain and transfer to a bowl. Return pot to heat with 1 inch salted water and a steamer basket; bring to a boil. Add potatoes and top with chard stems; cover and steam for 10 minutes or until almost tender. Add chard greens, cover, and steam for 3 minutes to wilt. Add potato and chard to pasta. Drizzle with oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and toss. Layer half of the pasta mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish and top with half the cheese; repeat. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or until browned and heated through.
P.S. Don’t forget to stop by my blog on June 1st for the official launch. We will have a fun giveaway details of which can be found in this post https://hartsd.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/hear-ye-hear-ye/