This is a very fresh twist on pasta.. and I will warn you right now it makes a TON. I had enough to probably feed six people, so be advised when deciding if you should cut the recipe in half or not. I had to buy a decent amount of ingredients to make this, it definitely wasn't a "use what you have" kind of meal, but it was a special treat to try some new things! I've never cooked with chard before, and actually really liked the taste and texture, reminded me a lot of spinach, but more colorful.
Here are the vegetables you'll add, plus some cheese. I chopped everything up before I started the chicken on the stove. Cooking everything goes pretty fast once you start, so it was easier to have everything ready to add.
To prepare the chard, simply rip the leaves from the stems. Then chop the stems and leaves separately.
Chopped chard stems, they're so pretty!
Begin by cutting chicken into bite size pieces, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and brown chicken.
Add onion, red pepper, chopped chard stems and garlic to the chicken. Cook and stir for around five minutes. Meanwhile start cooking your pasta in a large pot with lightly salted water.
Add chard to the skillet, sauté until wilted. I wish I had chopped mine a little bit more, I cut the leaves into fourths, and wish I would have cut it into six or seven pieces. Add chicken broth and remaining salt and pepper to taste. Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. I mixed it up and used half of my Quattro Formaggi and half-grated Parmesan cheese. I also added around a half of cup, because cheese is awesome.
When penne is cooked, drain and add to the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and chopped parsley.
This dish gives you a very full serving of vegetables and complex carbs (if you used whole-wheat pasta.) I usually can finish my whole plate, but had trouble with this one, it's very filling. It has many different textures, pasta, onions, chicken, peppers, and chard. All mixed together this meal was full of flavor and very good for you. I would classify this as great comfort food, makes you feel right at home :)
Chicken, Chard and Pepper Penne
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped *I used a red pepper
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch of Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 box whole-wheat penne pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese *add more if you like cheese!
2 tablespoons chopped parsley *optional
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Brown chicken, then add onion, pepper, chopped chard stems and garlic. Cook and stir for around five minutes.
Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Cook penne while tending to the chicken mixture.
Add chard to chicken and sauté until wilted.
Add chicken broth and remaining salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
When penne is fully cooked, drain and add to the chicken mixture.
Toss the mixture together, sprinkle with cheese and chopped parsley.