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.
- 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
- 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 sauté 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.