Summer in New York Pasta Fagioli

With Cranberry Beans and Swiss Chard


*Serves 16 models, or four normal people

 2 lb. fresh cranberry beans, shelled
1 lb. pound rainbow Swiss chard, thoroughly washed
3 medium shallots, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 small fresh sage leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbs + ¼ cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil + a splash more
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Sea salt
Freshly-ground black pepper
1 lb. dried or fresh whole wheat pasta
Freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese

Fill a large stockpot with salted water and set on high to boil for pasta. 

Cover the cranberry beans by about an inch of water in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bruise the fresh herbs to release their scent and flavor by rolling them between your hands and add them to the bean water.  Add two tbs of olive oil, a dash of salt and a little bit of black pepper to the beans, and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, or until tender. 

While beans are simmering, and pasta water is heating up, set a skillet over medium heat and add ¼ cup olive oil.  Add the garlic, shallots and a pinch of salt and cook until the shallots are fragrant and translucent (a couple of minutes).  Add the Swiss chard, a little bit at a time, turning to evenly distribute oil.  Cook slowly, allowing the Swiss chard to wilt and shrink.  

When the chard is limp and evenly coated in olive oil, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. 

When tender, season the beans to taste, drain and add them to the skillet, discarding the herbs if you want.  Lower the burner to the lowest setting and cover.

Boil pasta until al dente, and drain.  Toss with a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Serve beans and Swiss chard over pasta, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.