Chard Pasta Bake
Original recipe from Terra Firma Farms, Community Supported Agriculture newsletter archives
Chard Manicotti — Chard is less liquid than spinach, which makes it better suited for dishes such as this, Lasagna, Enchiladas, or other casseroles.
Boil water for the pasta.
Make a béchamel sauce: Melt 2 T. butter over low heat, then add 1 1/2 to 2 T. flour, stirring over low heat for 3 minutes. Then stir in slowly 1 C. milk, then stir with a wire whisk until thickened and smooth. Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes to cook slowly.
Rinse one bunch of chard, separating the stems and leaves. Dice stems to make 1 C. and discard the rest. Roughly chop the leaves. Heat 3 T. olive oil in a pan and add the chard stems, 3 minced cloves of garlic, and 1 bunch chopped scallions. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes. When the garlic is soft, add 2 C. sliced brown mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes, then add the chard leaves and 1/3 C. white wine, then stir until wilted. Turn off the heat and add 1 C. ricotta cheese and 1 C. grated Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Dip the manicotti shells in the boiling water for 1 minute, then rinse and fill with chard mixture.
Drizzle half the béchamel in a casserole dish, then arrange the manicotti in the pan and drizzle the other half of the béchamel over it. You can also sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the top. Bake at 350 until bubbly and beginning to brown.
I cooked the pasta according to the box and then ended up slicing them open and making a lasagna like dish
I did not cook the bechamel in the oven - just on the stove at a very low flame - whisking and adding more milk when it got too thick
I used white mushrooms vs. brown
Red wine vs. white - could have used chicken stock
I added a bunch of fresh grated parmesan on top
I made a vegan version by making a soymilk bechamel and using vegan cheese
The vegan version was not a hit - but the no-dairy toddler was sick - so I am not sure if that was a yucky food or yucky feeling issue.
DS1 and DH (and I) really liked the dish - it was rich though.