This dish was delicious! It's riffed on this recip
e, I had pancetta and a bunch of chard and R wanted tomato sauce. I cut the chard the night before and it was a snap to put together after work, it took just 20 minutes with interruptions to greet the family. The recipe called for penne, but neither R nor MZ prefer that shape. We were out of rotini so I went for spaghettini -- not a traditional match but a house favorite.
1 bunch chard
1 T olive oil
1 package diced pancetta, or the equivalent amount of diced high-quality pancetta
1/2 red onion, diced to 1/4" pieces
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated, plus more for the table
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cut the chard leaves from the stems and rinse in a bowl of water. Cut the stems crosswise into 1/4" slices. Drain the leaves, cut them in half and cut crosswise into 1/2" strips.
Bring the pasta water to a boil. Heat 1 T olive oil on medium-high heat, add pancetta and saute 5 minutes. Drain all but 1 T oil off the pan and set pancetta aside. Add red onion to the pan and sprinkle with 1/2 t salt. Saute 2 minutes. Add chard stems and saute five minutes till onions have softened. Salt pasta water, add pasta and set timer.
Add red pepper flakes and garlic to onion mixture, saute 30 seconds and add chard leaves. Stir, saute five minutes. Meanwhile drain the canned tomatoes, reserving juice. Turn heat to high, add tomatoes, stir and saute until the tomatoes release some juice (about 3 minutes). Meanwhile, toast pine nuts.
Add tomato juice, 1/4 cup pasta water, 2 T parmigiano and pancetta to chard mixture, stir and saute 3 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Serve sauce over pasta, top with toasted pine nuts, grated parmigiano and a grinding of black pepper.
Drain pasta when ready,