Pasta with Swiss Chard

Pasta with Swiss Chard

Background and History:

Pasta with Swiss chard is a traditional Italian dish that celebrates the vibrant and hearty flavors of this leafy green vegetable. Swiss chard, known for its colorful stalks and robust, earthy taste, is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. This dish combines the wholesome goodness of Swiss chard with pasta to create a satisfying, healthy, and visually appealing meal.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of your favorite pasta (e.g., spaghetti, fettuccine, or penne)
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Before draining, reserve a cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, and saut√© for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the chopped Swiss chard stems to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Incorporate the Swiss chard leaves and cook, stirring frequently, until they wilt and become tender, which should take about 5-7 minutes. If needed, add a splash of the reserved pasta cooking water to help steam the chard.
  • Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Toss the cooked pasta into the skillet with the Swiss chard mixture. Gently combine everything, adding more pasta cooking water if it seems too dry.
  • Serve the pasta hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and additional red pepper flakes if you like a bit of heat.

Nutrition Facts:

  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 290 per serving
  • Total Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 4mg
  • Sodium: 238mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 42g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 9g

Notes:

  • Swiss chard comes in various colors, including red, pink, yellow, and white. Feel free to use any variety to add a splash of color to your dish.
  • If you prefer a vegetarian or vegan version, skip the Parmesan cheese or use a plant-based alternative.
  • Adjust the level of red pepper flakes to suit your spice preference.
  • This dish is versatile; you can add ingredients like pine nuts, raisins, or cooked chicken for extra flavor and texture.

Allergy Warning:

Please be aware that this recipe contains gluten (pasta) and dairy (Parmesan cheese). If you have allergies or dietary restrictions, choose appropriate substitutes or avoid the dish accordingly.

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