Linguine with Swiss Chard


Linguine with Swiss Chard (for Jessica) from:New York Cookbook by Molly O'Neill 
(my note and adaptations in parenthesis)

3 tbls olive oil
1/4 pine nuts (or you can use walnuts)
1 tbls of finely chopped garlic (or more to taste)
1/2 finely chopped shallot
2 cups chopped red and/or green chard (or more)
1 cup heavy whipping cream (or half and half)

large pinch of Saffron dissolved in 2 tbls water
1 pound Linguine (I like the organic pasta from Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesean (or pecorino romano)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (i like a lot of pepper on this dish)
Zest of 1/2 lemon (I also squeeze some of the lemon juice on top just before serving)
Heat a tbls of the oil and lightly and gently brown the nuts. Stir to keep from scorching. Set aside.
In a non-reactive skillet large enough to hold all of the cooked pasta, saute the garlic and shallots in the remaining 2 tbsl of oil over medium heat until softened. (I actually saute the chopped chard first for a minute and then use it to cushion the garlic and shallots)
Increase the heat, add the chard and cook until softened 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cream and the saffron infusion and cook over low heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the linguine until tender in a large pot of boiling water. Drain, but don't rinse.
Bring the sauce back to a simmer over medium heat. Add the drained linguine and toss to coat well with the sauce. Add the Cheese, salt and pepper and the lemon zest and mix well.
Serve immediately, garnished with the toasted nuts. (I also like to squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top and add plenty of pepper. Chopped Flat leaf parsley is also a nice touch)

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