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Vickie's Rigatoni & Swiss Chard

Vickie's Rigatoni with Swiss Chard


Rigatonie +Swiss Chard

1 pound rigatoni or similar noodle                              

2 tbs. butter                                                                                                                     

3 tbs. olive oil                                                        

2-3 garlic cloves, sliced thin                                                    

2 medium shallots or 1 medium onion, finely chopped

6-8 ounces Swiss chard, stems removed and choppedinto pieces about 1/2 inch by 2 inches (save stems)  

2 tbs. finely grated lemon zest                                              

1/2 cup cooking wine or 1/2 cup chicken broth + more to bring sauce to preferred texture                                

1/2 teas. red pepper flakes (opt.)                                          

2/3 cup ricotta cheese                                                            

1/3 cup toasted walnuts                                                                    

salt and pepper

grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add 2 tbs. salt and the pasta - cook until done - do not overcook.  Drain keeping a little reserved in case the sauce needs thinning or smoothing out.

Chop any Swiss chard stems that are thinner than 1/2 inch into about 1/3 inch lengths. Discard the rest.Heat butter and oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, about 1 minute.  Add garlic, onion or shallots, and Swiss chard stems and cook about 2 minutes, stirring.  Stir in Swiss chard pieces, lemon zest, wine, 1/2 teas. salt, and red pepper flakes or regular grated pepper.  Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chard wilts, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in pasta, ricotta, and walnuts.  Cook another minute to blend, adjust sauce texture to be smooth and creamy with reserved pasta water or extra chicken broth and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.  

Note:  In a hurry?  Cut up your Swiss chard, stems, the day before and store in bags in the refrigerator.   

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