Swiss Chard, beans & pastaMeatless Mondays is a recent global campaign aimed at lowering our overall meat consumption for our health and the environment. Believe it or not, the movement has a history stretching back to World War I. It all started with Herbert Hoover prior to his presidency… and it was originally Tuesdays, not Mondays, when Americans were asked to limit their meat consumption.

We now have meatless nights quite often, not only Mondays but other nights as well.  This was our “Meatless Monday” this week, we both love this meal. It’s healthy and delicious.

1 bunch (about 1 lb.) red, white or rainbow Swiss chard

1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chopped tomatoes

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

4+ ounces cooked penne

Fresh grated parmesan cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
First I cook penne until they’re just done. Drain and set aside.

Trim the stems and center ribs off the chard and reserve for another use. Rinse the leaves, shake off the excess water and stack the leaves on a cutting board. Thinly slice crosswise. Set aside. In a wide sauté pan or 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then stir in the tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens a bit, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chard by the handful, letting each addition cook down a bit before adding the next. Stir in the beans. Cover the pan and simmer until the greens are very soft, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Add cooked pasta, stir and garnish with parmesan cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.



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