If you're looking for a way to break out of the standard marinara sauce and penne dinner, try this recipe. The mushroom and red swiss chard combined with crushed tomatoes create a thick and wonderful ragu that I think is perfect atop pappardelle pasta. However, if you can't find pappardelle, really any pasta would work well - fettuccine, rigatoni, or even penne. This recipe only calls for a few ingredients and other than a little bit of chopping, is easy and relatively fast to make.
Pappardelle with Red Chard and Wild Mushroom Ragu
Prep time: 35 min
Total time: 35 min
Extra virgin olive oil
12 oz. fresh or dried pappardelle (wide flat pasta)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. mixed mushrooms - I used 1/2 lb. cremini, 1/4 lb. oyster, and 1/4 lb. shitake mushrooms, chopped into small (~1/4-1/2'' pieces)
1 bunch red swiss chard, cut into very thin strips
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat for the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat 1 t. olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1/2 of the garlic and cook 15-30 seconds, then add the chard, stirring often until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside in a bowl.
Add 1 T. olive oil to the same pan over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and cook 15-30 seconds, then add the mushrooms and saute, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the reserved chard (leaving any liquid behind) to the skillet and stir to incorporate. Bring the mixture up until it starts to bubble and then simmer.
Add the pasta to the boiling water. If using fresh pasta just let the sauce simmer for the short time the pasta is cooking, or if using dried, you can just simmer the sauce a little longer. Taste the sauce and adjust for seasoning. I added 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper.
When the pasta is done, drain and serve the sauce/ragu on top of the pasta. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if you'd like.