2 bunches Swiss Chard, stems removed and leaves sliced into ribbons
1 bunch pearl onions, sliced into thin coins
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups milk
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
½ pound of penne, rigatoni, or other pasta of your choice
1. Wash the chard, but don’t dry it, just place it in a large pot over high heat. Cook, covered, with just the water clinging to leaves, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a pot of salted water to boiling for your pasta. When the water is boiling, add your pasta and cook for the recommended time. Drain.
3. Press or squeeze out the excess liquid from the chard any number of ways, either by wringing it out in cheesecloth (my favorite method), putting it in a mesh strainer and pressing the moisture out with a spatula or large spoon or letting it cool long enough to grab small handfuls and squeezing them to remove as much water as possible.
4. Wipe out the large pot so you can use it again. Heat milk in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until warm. Keep warm. Meanwhile, cook onion in butter in your wiped-out large pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about six minutes. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, about three minutes. Add warm milk in a slow stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and simmer, whisking, until thickened, three to four minutes. Stir in chard, then salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through. Add Parmesan cheese to the sauce and serve over pasta.
*Recipe from The Salad Garden (Leslie & Liberty & Dan)