This is my favorite pasta dish. Two years ago we were fortunate enough to visit Rome. Of course I fell in love with just about everything Italian - who doesn't when they're in Rome? I ate pasta, pasta, pasta, because this was the place to learn. I didn't really have a deep understanding of pasta because I didn't grow up with it. After Rome, everything was different. For a start I realized how to cook it - not overdone and limp like you so often find and not just with the obligatory jar of tomato sauce. We had eaten pasta with squid, lamb, beef, chicken, vegetables of all sorts, with incredible sauces and just tossed in the most delectable olive oil. So now when I cook pasta - I think of Rome and do my best to recreate the dishes we loved.
1, 16oz box of Orecchiette (or your favorite pasta)
1 onion, thinly sliced
a shake of red pepper flakes
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
A splash of white wine
3/4 cup of toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup of golden sultanas
Salt and pepper
1 bunch of Swiss Chard (cut into thin ribbons)
Heat the water for the pasta in a large pot.
In a large saute pan heat the olive oil and add the finely chopped onion. Sprinkle the salt over the onion to prevent it from burning. Slowly saute for about 8-10 minutes until just caramelized. Add the garlic, pepper flakes, sultanas, lemon zest and juice. Continue to cook for a few minutes.
Add a splash of white wine and let bubble away. Add the ribbons of Swiss Chard and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile toast the pine nuts and set aside.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Add the pine nuts and add the Swiss chard mixture. Toss. Squeeze the juice of one more lemon over the pasta, check seasonings and and sprinkle over the Parmesan.