This was successful meal. And it felt fancy, but it's pretty simple to make. The pasta dish is completely vegetarian, and can be made as the main dish for non-meat eaters. I just decided to grill up a steak to go with it. It was a great compliment to the pasta and greens.
I had seen the recipe for the pasta on Cookie and Kate, while browsing the site one day. It looked yummy and healthy and simple. So, when I received some beautiful swiss chard in my CSA box, I knew it was time to make it happen.
I've also been trying to clean out my freezer, and came across a frozen flank steak. With all the turkey we've been eating, a nice steak sounded wonderful. I pulled it out and let it defrost.
The pasta dish is sort of Mediterranean, with pine nuts and citrus, topped with parmesan cheese. I searched the internet for Mediterranean steak marinades, and gathered ideas to make my own. This is what I put in mine:
Salt, pepper, 3 cloves of crushed garlic, 3-4 tablespoons of roughly chopped rosemary (from my garden), the juice of one large lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and about 1 cup of red wine.
I let it chill in the refrigerator while I prepped everything for the pasta.
I took the white stem/rib off of each chard leaf, stacked them up, rolled them up and then chopped them into long thin ribbons, about 1/2 inch thick.
Then, in a large, empty sautee pan, I toasted about 1/8 cup of pine nuts. When they were fragrant and a little brown, I removed them from the pan and set them aside for later.
Then I added 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to the hot pan and sprinkled in a pinch of red chili flakes. This infuses the spicy flavor into the oil and flavors the greens perfectly!
My pasta water was boiling, so I added the thin whole wheat spaghetti to the pot, and the greens to the pan, letting them cook at the same time.
As soon as the pasta was al dente, I added it to the greens and let them "get happy" (as Emeril LaGasse would say).
Meanwhile, I got the meat on the grill pan, letting it sear on each side for about 5 minutes. When it was firm to the touch and seared on both sides, I removed it from the heat and wrapped it in aluminum foil to rest and let the juices redistribute throughout the steak.
To plate, take some pasta and greens and top it with the toasted pine nuts, shaved parmesan cheese, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Slice the flank steak against the grain, and garnish with a lemon wedge.
You will not regret this meal. It's fresh, and light, but filling at the same time. You could serve it with chicken breast or sweet Italian sausage instead of steak. You can make the pasta with spinach or collards instead of chard. Use what you have and enjoy it!