Fettuccine with Caramelized Onions + Swiss Chard


I'm still a little bleary eyed from this past week. It began on Sunday with a trip to shoot shoes in Miami for Free People. We had a few very long days, but escaping the winter weather was much so very much appreciated, however brief it was. I took some pictures along the way while we were bustling around south beach that I'll be sharing here soon. 

I get really dreamy feelings when I look back at this bowl of pasta. Glorious, glorious pasta. Robert made this a couple of Sundays ago, and I wasn't paying any attention to him while it was actually coming together. When I took a bite the first thing I said was "exactly how much butter is in this?". There isn't any butter in it, but it has that super creamy consistency you want a homemade pasta dish to have. The caramelized onions add a rich texture and flavor, and if you have fresh fettuccine available it makes all the difference. 

Fettuccine with Caramelized Onions and Swiss Chard

8 oz fresh fettuccine (dry will work if fresh is not available)
1 large bunch swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped
1/2 cup parmasean cheese + additional for serving
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbs olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, diced
2 tsp red pepper flake
salt and pepper

In a skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tbs olive oil. When shimmering, add onions. Let cook, undisturbed for 10 minutes. Stir onions once and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add a splash of water to the skillet and stir, taking care to scrape up any browned bits. Let cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes total, onions should be blonde in color and have a jammy consistency. For a darker color and richer flavor, continue cooking an additional 10 minutes, otherwise set aside. 

Warm remaining 1 tbs olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add chard, garlic, red pepper flake, salt and pepper. Sauté chard until wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, making sure to leave chard in pan.

Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water, salt generously, and bring to a boil. When a rolling boil has been reached, add pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente, about 3 minutes for fresh fettuccine or 8-9 minutes for dried. Before draining, skim off 1/2 cup of pasta water and set aside. 

Using the same pan from before, warm chard over low heat. Add pasta and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, tossing gently. Add the caramelized onions, stirring to combine. Working in small additions, add pasta water and remaining parmesan cheese until cheese is melted and the sauce coats the pasta and chard. 

To serve, top with fresh parmesan, and black pepper.