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Swiss Chard with Pasta

Serves 2

Pick half a dozen stems of chard. Trim off the leaves and slice the stems thinly. Put a large frying pan on the heat with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and add the stems. As they start to fry, finely chop three cloves of garlic and add to the pan. (If you have really robust tastes, a small red chilli, finely chopped, and a couple of anchovy fillets added at this stage take it to a whole different level!) Finely shred the leaves and add to the pan with about half a cupful of boiling water. Leave to cook for 10 minutes while you prepare the pasta. It should be quite soft when done, and all the water evaporated.

Put on 4oz pasta to boil. Orichetti work best, but any pasta is fine. With a couple of minutes to go, add a handful of pine kernels to the chard. Drain the pasta, leaving just a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water with it, and toss with the Swiss chard. Add a handful of grated hard cheese, parmesan or cheddar, depending on whether you feel like being local or authentic, season well, and serve.

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