Swiss Chard and Lemon Ricotta Pasta

By • June 1, 2012 • 48 Comments

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Author Notes: This is an easy, last minute dinner since you might have many of the ingredients on hand. If you don't have any swiss chard, kale, spinach and arugula also work great. If you use kale, I recommend removing the tough central stem. If you use either arugula or baby spinach leaves, you don't need to precook them at all; just toss them in at the end. The warmth of the pasta will sufficiently wilt them.TheWimpyVegetarian

Food52 Review: Tender swiss chard, creamy ricotta cheese, crispy bacon, and lemon zest combine with spaghetti to create a dish that is brimming with fresh, lovely flavors. This dish comes together quickly and doesn’t feature unusual ingredients, making it perfect for a weekday dinner. I loved how nothing is wasted, the same pot is used to cook the pasta and chard and the bacon fat is left in the pan to flavor the pasta. A few notes: Chard cooks down, so I used 4½ cups rather than the 3 cups called for in the recipe. I also upped the ricotta cheese to ½ cup to make the sauce a little richer.cookinginvictoria

Serves 4

  • 3 cups raw Swiss chard, sliced (including the stems)
  • 2 handfuls dried spaghetti noodles
  • 2 strips bacon, cut into 1/4" slices or lardons
  • 1/2 large shallot, minced
  • olive oil as needed
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • Pinch dried red pepper flakes
  1. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the Swiss chard for 5 minutes. Scoop out the chard, and drain well, squeezing out as much of the water as possible. Chop again and set aside.
  2. Keep the pot of water boiling, and add the spaghetti noodles. Follow the directions on the packet for making the spaghetti. Drain and set aside, retaining about 1 cup of liquid from cooking the noodles.
  3. Fry bacon until just crispy. Add the shallot and saute until soft, adding olive oil if needed.
  4. Add the Swiss chard and toss well to break up the chard clumps.
  5. Combine the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses in a small bowl, and add the lemon zest, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add to the Swiss chard mixture in the saute pan and mix well.
  6. Add cooked spaghetti, and some of the pasta water as needed.
  7. Serve warm.
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Comments (48) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago ingababinga

I had a lot greens to use and saw this recipe was the highest rated chard recipe on the site. Added a touch of garlic, lemon juice, and parmesan and it was perfect! Already planning to make it again next weekend - bravo on this recipe!

Me

about 1 month ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Woo-hoo! Congratulations - I'm so glad it worked for you!! Thanks for letting me know!!

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2 months ago Barb

This was a great recipe, we really enjoyed it. It's a great way to use the greens that are so prevalent at the farmer's market at this time of year. I added garlic and extra parmesan, as well as some fresh basil I had in the garden.

Me

2 months ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Oh yay!! I'm so glad you liked it :-)

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2 months ago Kgiersch

Delicious! I subbed chèvre for ricotta, because that's what I had on hand. I stirred it directly into chard/bacon mix, then topped with Parmesan.

Me

2 months ago TheWimpyVegetarian

That sounds like a great version, Kgiersch! I almost always have chèvre on hand!!

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8 months ago lschrive

I do something similar with peas, but I liked it with the swiss chard. Thank you for the recipe! Don't forget the lemon!!!

Me

8 months ago TheWimpyVegetarian

It's amazing the difference that lemon makes, isn't it?

Sharon_at_the_beach

8 months ago mauigirlcooks

Looks & sounds delicious!

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11 months ago Anne H

I made this tonight, it was quick, very good and a great way to use the swiss chard I had from CSA. I did not have bacon, sprinkled some browned pancetta on top instead.

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11 months ago Bir

Excellent. I made a few changes: 1/2 cup of ricotta, in addition of zest the juice of 1/2 a lemon, doubled the Parmesan, doubled the bacon, added 3 gloves of garrlic.

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12 months ago ErinC

Tried this last night, super delicious! I added minced garlic and subbed spinach. Will definitely make again! Thanks Wimpy Vegetarian!

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about 1 year ago cschaefer

Yum. I have made this recipe several times now and deem it a new dinner staple in my household. It has become one of the most frequently requested meals by my #1 taste tester, my husband. I love the wonderful combinations of bacon & challot, lemon, ricotta & parmesan, all melding & melting with pasta & tender swiss chard. This recipe is a perfect go-to for weeknight dinners & satisfies the frugality of low-budget foodies. I definitely recommend trying it!

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over 1 year ago Desert Dryad

I've made this twice so far, once overdoing it with the red pepper flakes. I agree that "two handfuls" is vague, but 1/2 lb of pasta seems right. Kids and veggie-adverse husband ate it all up. It's delicious!

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over 1 year ago Andreas

I would not worry about plagiarism with this recipe - ricotta with lemon zest is an Italian standby and has been a classic in my own kitchen for years.

Like a frittata, it is the perfect vessel for leftovers. Asparagus, grilled or steamed? check. A handful of spinach past its best? Check. Basil grown rampant? Check. Just add what's in the larder and it'll be fine. I've even served this with chunks of good olive oil cured tuna.

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over 1 year ago Andreas

PS: I am not that much of a fan of the bacon is this - the ricotta easily gets overpowered by more assertive flavours.

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over 1 year ago gotham gourmand

I made this recipe last night and it's delicious! The flavor of the fresh chard still comes through all the creamy goodness of the sauce. Two comments: Measuring the pasta by "handfuls" is problematic and leaves a lot a room for error. I used 1lb of linguini pasta and quickly realized I needed to almost double the amount of chard used as well as the ricotta. Delicious recipe all the same!

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over 1 year ago Kate's Kitchen

Yummy! Used Swiss Chard from my garden, upped the ricotta to 1/2 cup and added a little extra tablespoon or two of Parm. I would make it again. Used thin spaghetti pasta.

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about 2 years ago AnnT

I've been meaning to try this ever since I first saw it on The Savory Notebook. I like your spaghetti substitution.

http://savorynotebook.blogspot...

Me

about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I've never heard of The Savory Notebook, so thanks for the link. Proof that some ingredients are just classic combinations for pasta dishes. I hope you give the dish a go, I think you'll like it. It's been one of my favorite go-to pasta dishes for the last year.

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about 2 years ago lapadia

Hi! Made this recipe with spinach, what I had in the garden, love the creamy ricotta lemon flavor! Looked for the recipe on your website (to comment) but couldn't find it. Anyway, delicious recipe :)

Me

about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Hi Linda! Thanks so much. It's on my blog, but I'm woefully behind on indexing. This is a great reminder for me to get it done! Here's the link:
http://thewimpyvegetarian...
I'm so glad you tried it and liked it so much!!

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about 2 years ago sue jacobs

I made this last night - WOW it was delicious! The only change i made was to double the ricotta and parmesan so it was cheesier, and added some lemon juice. I used the rainbow chard from my garden, and served with some chicken sausage on the side. A keeper!

Me

about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

So happy!!! I'm so glad you let me know how it worked for you!!

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about 2 years ago srcerer

What a fantastic recipe! So lovely and summery. We loved it and will put it in our repertoire.

Me

about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I'm so glad you tried it and liked it so much. It's so easy to make too. Thanks so much for letting me know :-)

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about 2 years ago Dabblings

I made this tonight with some of the chard from my garden. I also used some peas from the garden and subbed out the hot pepper flakes for one of my hot peppers. I may have also used a scotch more bacon and I doubled the ricotta and the parm. The end result was delicious. I will absolutely make this again. It was perfect for a week night dinner. Thanks for a great recipe :)

Me

about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Yay! I'm so glad you liked it so much!!! You totally have made my day!

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about 2 years ago Dabblings

*skosh more bacon...not scotch!

Me

about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

LOL :-) !! I figured. Although scotch sounds good right now too :-)

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about 2 years ago sarcal

I absolutely can't wait to make this for dinner tomorrow!! Looks amazing! I love how lemon zest brings a brightness to dishes.

Me

about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Yes!! I totally agree. Lemon zest is amazing what it can do to a dish! Excited you're trying this; I really hope you like it!!

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about 2 years ago EmilyC

Congrats on your CP, ChezSuzanne! This pasta looks lovely and I'm looking forward to trying it. Quick question for you: when you call for 2 handfuls of spaghetti, approximately how much is that? 1/2 lb? 1 lb?

Me

about 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks Emily! 1/2 lb should do it - that's usually what I use. Hope you like it!!