I really wanted to make this Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onion Lasagne recipe, but I only had one bunch of swiss chard and wasn’t sure if I wanted to deal with layering lasagne. So I decided to incorporate the flavors into a pasta bake. I think I could have even avoided the oven and just eaten it once all the ingredients were tossed together. Of course this dish itself is a little labor and dish intensive, and frankly next time I will just make the lasagne (with the white sauce). But we still enjoyed this dish (and will probably freeze half of it).
If I make the original recipe I might need to increase the onions, I used 5 medium sized onions, certainly at least 4 cups worth, and they almost filled my 2.5 quart bowl (the bowl on the left) before cooking but didn’t even fill the smaller bowl (a 1 qt bowl) after cooking into a nice caramelized mass.
Swiss Chard & Caramelized Onion pasta bake
- 1 bunch swiss chard, stems separated from leaves
- 5 yellow onions
- 1 15 oz container ricotta
- 1 t sugar
- 1 t balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper
- 3/4 lb pasta
- 6 oz of small fresh mozzarella balls
Start making the onions first. Peel the onions and slice them in half top to root. Slice them between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick. Put a big skillet (12″) on medium-high heat and add a couple tablespoons of oil, them dump in all the onions, sprinkle with a little (1/2 teaspoon or so) salt and stir about every 5 minutes. After 15 minutes sprinkle the teaspoon of sugar over the onions and continue cooking for another 20 minutes or so, until the onions are a nice caramely color and soft and tasty. Once they are done stir in the balsamic vinegar. Scrape these into a bowl so you can use the skillet for the chard.
While the onions are cooking prep the chard. Cut the chard into short ribbons (or rough chunks) and cut the stems into short 1″ pieces. Once the onions are done preheat the oven to 350 F and heat a tablespoon of oil in the skillet and add the chard stems and a sprinkle of salt. Once they are tender, about 10 minutes, add all the chard leaves and cover with a lid. Stir every couple minutes, if the chard seems to be sticking add 1-2 tablespoons of water to help steam the chard. When it is cooked (wilty and soft) remove from heat and set aside.
In a big bowl mix the chard with the container of ricotta, then add the onions and the pasta. Dump into an oiled casserole dish and top with slices of the mozzerella. Bake for about 25 minutes.