Rigatoni with Rainbow Chard and Feta
I feel like life has been on fast forward.
This last weekend in Lake George we attended the most touching, beautiful and fabulous wedding of our nephew Scott.
He married the most elegant, thoughtful and gorgeous Liz.
4 days before that we returned from 8 days in the the south of France.
8 days of sun, a few wineries around Cavalaire Sur Mer, and wine.
The Citadel in St Tropez, and wine.
Pointed at hugh yachts in Cannes, and wine.
Musee of Massena in Nice, and wine.
It is France.
However, food was a bit of a problem for me.
France does not do gluten free.
They live on bread.
And of course, cigarettes.
At meantimes I would, in French no less, explain that “je suis allergique au gluten”.
And they would nod, then return with a big smile and a basket of bread for me.
So, a lot of salad and grilled fish.
Which normally would not ever be a problem, but for some reason I was craving carbs.
Okay, I always want carbs.
Their regular markets called “Casino”, yep took a few days to figure out they don’t gamble all that much, did not have one single gluten free bread or cracker.
We did find a “Bio” or health food store finally, and picked up some quinoa crackers for all that cheese!!
After traveling, around the world, or just a weekend getaway, we always come home to a pasta dinner.
Need those carbohydrates.
Especially after a trip to France.
Rigatoni with a quick tomato sauce, sauté of swiss chard and a crumble of feta.
Feels good to be home.
- 1 package rigatoni (my absolute favorite is Le Veneziane)
- 1 big bunch rainbow swiss chard
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- Tomato Sauce:
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 onion, chopeed
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 cups fresh chopped tomatoes or 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- Pinch of salt, and pepper
- Or 1 jar prepared pasta sauce (I adore Gia Russa Brand)
- 1 8oz package block feta, or crumbled variety if you prefer
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Bring a big pot of water to boil for the pasta.
In the meantime, wash and chop the chard into bite size pieces, let a little water cling to chard.
In a large stockpot (I find easier to work in than pan) add 2 Tbs of olive oil, add chard in batches, turning as you add.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Saute for 3-4 mins, tossing, until wilted but still bright green.
Add garlic and, cook another 30 seconds.
Stir in lemon zest.
Remove from heat.
In another pot get your sauce going, add 2 Tbs of olive oil to pot and onion.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Saute for 4-5 mins, until soft but still opaque.
Add garlic, stir around, after 30 seconds add tomatoes and paste.
Let cook 10 mins or so until your pasta is ready.
Or use prepared jar of pasta sauce heated on stovetop.
When pasta still firm to the bite, usually at least 1-3 minutes less than stated on package, drain and add back to pot.
Add pasta sauce and the sautéed swiss chard.
Over high heat toss altogether for 1 minute.
Place in serving bowl and scatter feta and basil to serve