A little secret: I never, ever cook up a pound of pasta at a time. Most pasta recipes call for a pound of pasta, which is entirely way too much for two people. I always use a half pound (or less) and still have enough for leftovers. If I have too many leftovers, I get really tired of the dish and then don't want to make it anymore.
Pasta with Ruby Chard and Cranberries
adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking For Health by Joanne
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 lb chunky-shaped whole grain pasta, like penne
3 bunches ruby or red swiss chard (1.5-2 lb)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When it comes to a rapid boil, ladle a few tbsp of it into a bowl. Add the dried cranberries and set aside to soak. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain.
2. While the water heats, rinse the chard and remove the bottom 1/2 inch of the stems. Discard. Cut the remaining stems crosswise into 1/2 inch slices and set aside. Chop the leaves. Set aside.
3. While the pasta cooks, warm the oil in a large soup pot on high heat. Add the chard stems and saute for a minute. Add the garlic and the chard leaves and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the chard is limp but the leaves are still bright green, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt. Add a sprinkling of black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
4. Drain the soaked cranberries. Divide the pasta into serving bowls and top with the garlicky chard, plump hot cranberries, and toasted walnuts. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.