How to make it

  • 1. Bring large pot heavily salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until pasta is just al dente (do not overcook).
  • 2. Meanwhile, heat large sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil. When oil is hot, add the pancetta and herbes de provence, and sauté until the fat on the pancetta starts to turn translucent and very lightly
  • brown, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, chile and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and sauté until garlic and pancetta turn richly brown, about 3 minutes. Add the chard stems and a large pinch of salt , and sauté until stems just start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the leaves and cook, until wilted. Add the butter, and sauté for another minute.
  • 3. Drain penne, reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, and add pasta to pan with chard mixture. Cook, tossing, until everything is well mixed, moisten with cooking water, if necessary. Check seasonings, spoon into pasta bowls and top with a drizzle of oil and lemon juice, and a little cheese if you like.

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