Adapted from Molto Gusto by Mario Batali
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1 small white onion. halved and sliced 1/4″ thin
3 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
1 pd Swiss chard, trimmed of steams and sliced 1/4 ” thick
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut in 4 pieces
coarsely ground black pepper
1 pd pennette pasta
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus extra for serving
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs toasted in a pan in a little olive oil until lightly brown
1. Combine oil, onion, garlic, and chard in a large pot and cook over medium heat , stirring occasionally until the onion and chard begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
2.Season well with salt and add 1/4 cup of water, cover and reduce heat to low and cook stirring occasionally until chard is very tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Add butter, stirring until it melts, season with pepper and remove from heat.
(This can be prepared to this point 2 days in advance. I have also frozen it at this point.)
4. Bring 6 Qts of water to a boil in large pot and add 3 TBL kosher salt. Drop in pasta and cook al dente.
5. Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add pasta and 1/4 cup of reserved water to the chard and stir and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated, (add a splash or two of reserved water if necessary to loosen the sauce)
6. Stir in the cheese
7. Transfer to a serving plate and top with breadcrumbs.
Serve with additional cheese on the side