Seasonally incorrect pasta

I have been cooking and blogging THE ENTIRE DAY. Every post from this week was written TODAY. (Sunday.) I did not kickbox, see my bros, or really go outside (except for a fancy-grocery-store run in flip flops, during which I got wet and very cold. It was raining all day and it was nasty and horrible). I’m finally up to dinner. But I had this plan to make Swiss chard and radicchio pasta with chicken and cheese (the first title for this blog, long before I started it, was “Pasta with shit in it”), and then I looked at the weather forecast for the week and it was ridiculously hot all week. I was like nOOOOOO I CAN’T HANDLE THIS I HATE THE HEAT MY AIR CONDITIONER IS NOT INSTALLED I HAVE TO MOVE ALL MY FURNITURE ALSDKGHOIH;ER I FASLDFJ also, I had been cooking and blogging all day, did I mention that?

But I had no other options, so even though this pasta thing is definitely not even remotely appropriate for warm weather, I decided to make it anyway. I figured if I added lots of red pepper flakes and not too much cheese, it might be OK. I don’t really believe this, but we’ll see. (A few weeks ago I read a blog post that was like, “It’s getting warm, and I’ve started craving salads!” I was like, screw that, it’s getting warm and I still crave lasagna.)

This is a pasta of my own invention, born of the fact that I had a head of radicchio in my fridge. I decided to get Swiss chard as well, just because; I was going to add chickpeas, but I have stopped liking chickpeas and have been having meat cravings. Since I never crave meat, I decided I am probably anemic or something and should eat as much meat as possible. Yum. So I am having chicken, and it’s relatively happy.

I washed/chopped the radicchio and Swiss chard, and sauteéd them with olive oil. After they wilted a bunch, I added a lot of garlic (two spoonfuls of the pre-chopped stuff, probably about four cloves… no, maybe more), salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, as per my usual. They’re actually now just sitting in the pan by themselves, without the heat, since they seem to be done.

I took the chicken (thin chicken breasts… like not the whole breasts… I don’t remember what it’s called, and chicken is scary) and just put it right from the package into the saucepan. I covered with water and turned the heat on. I am hoping the flavor will come from the other elements of the food, because I don’t know how to make chicken taste good. (You should move along to another blog for a paragraph or so, maybe.) Ughhhh I think it is cooked but I don’t know. I don’t want to contaminate anything with uncooked chicken-juice by accident.

I also grated a small amount of mozzarella cheese, I think about two ounces—it was what I had left from a previous use. Or maybe it was four ounces? I didn’t measure. It was a small chunk, either an eighth or a quarter of one of those one-pound blocks.

OK, I think the chicken is done. I mean, I hope it is, because I took it out and diced it. It’s white all the way through. I’m now boiling pasta water. (I just dumped all the chickeny water down the sink and then went NOOOOOO MY CHICKENY WATER. I could have used that, right??) Oh, and I’m going to grate some parmesan. My small-hole grater fell behind the stove; this is why you shouldn’t pile things several feet up on your dish drainer.

I’m contemplating adding tomatoes, because otherwise it’s just going to be random things in a bowl. Oh my God, WNYC is having technical difficulties! There is silence… and then a strange voice saying, “Please stand by.” This is very shocking. Oh, it’s back. Unfortunately it’s still not an interesting story. OK, so, crushed tomatoes?? Is it wine time yet? It’s really hot in here. New York is bad.

OK, I’m done! Pasta, cheeses, vegetables, 28 ounces of crushed tomatoes, and chicken are all in my largest saucepan, melting and being mixed. Yum, it looks really good.

Yet another pasta dish I made up
Adapted from my brain

1 head radicchio
1 bunch Swiss chard (or more, of both of these—I was worried there would be too much vegetable, but in fact I think there is not enough)
~ 1 tbsp olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic
Red pepper flakes, salt, pepper
1 large can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
3/4 lb skinless, boneless chicken
1 lb (or 1 package, whatever) whole-wheat pasta
1/2 c each parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, grated

Shred the radicchio. Remove the Swiss chard stems and chop the leaves. Heat olive oil in a very large pan; add radicchio and Swis chard and cook until wilted. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and s&p; cook until desired tenderness.

Meanwhile, poach the chicken in water to cover by a few inches. It’s finished when it looks finished.

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. Add pasta (I used spaghetti) and cook until al dente.

Combine everything in the large pan; add tomatoes and cheeses, and cook/stir/etc. until cheese is melty and you want to eat it.

Haha, I was just eating this and I went, “Woah, this is really good. What IS this???”


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