A trio of bright green fresh herbs highlights pasta with rainbow chard infused with citrus zest and juices.
- 1 bunch spring onions or 2 leeks
- 1 pound lemon spaghetti or spaghetti or whole wheat spaghetti
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3-4 cloves garlic (use spring garlic when in season), thinly sliced
- 1 bundle rainbow chard, stemmed, leaves washed and dried and shredded into 1/4-inch-thick ribbons
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup mint leaves (a handful), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (a handful), finely chopped
- 1 cup basil leaves (about 25 leaves), loosely packed, stacked then thinly sliced
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Clean the onions, if using, and trim. Finely chop the whites of the onions, then thinly slice their green tops and reserve. If using leeks, halve them lengthwise, thinly slice, then wash them in a large bowl of cold water. Dry on a kitchen towel.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the EVOO, 3-4 turns of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spring onion whites or all of the leeks and the garlic. Stir for 2-3 minutes, then add the chard and season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon and orange zest. Reduce the heat to low.
When the pasta is just about ready, add a cup of the starchy cooking water and the lemon and orange juice to the greens. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, butter and herbs for 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to combine and the sauce to properly coat the pasta. Add a little cheese to the mix and pass more at table.