We start cooking by putting a large pot of water on the stove and heating it for the pasta. In a medium pot, we melt the butter over low heat. We add the flour and cook for four minutes, stirring often. This butter-flour mixture is known as a roux. We are making a balsamella (bechamel in french) sauce, although a lower fat version of it by cutting the amount of butter in half and using reduced fat milk.
We heat the milk in the microwave on full power for a minute and a half. We whisk the heated milk into the roux slowly and increase to medium-low heat, stirring often until it comes to a boil.
Meanwhile, we add the minced garlic and the olive oil to a pan over low heat. We are just getting the garlic ready slowly while we wait for the meal to come together. The chard only takes a few minutes to cook.
When the pasta water comes to a boil, we add some salt, and the pasta, and cook until al dente.
Back to the milk pot, which we have been stirring often. When the mixture comes to a boil, we boil this on low heat for a few minutes. We add a little salt and pepper and a fresh grating of nutmeg. We then turn off the heat and add the Locatelli, stirring well.
A few minutes before the pasta is ready (it takes about 7 minutes for this shape of pasta), we raise the heat on the garlic pan to medium-low and when sizzling, we add the chard. We wilt it down quickly, turning with tongs often. We add a little pepper and turn the heat off.
When the pasta is done, we drain it in a colander. We combine the pasta and cheese sauce in the empty pot we used to boil the water. We stir to coat and add the lemon juice, tomatoes, and some torn basil. We add a little more salt and pepper after we taste for seasoning. We top each serving with some of the chard and some red pepper flakes.