I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve never cooked Swiss chard before making this pasta. And it turned out perfectly! That’s how simple this method is. I don’t even particularly LIKE Swiss chard but I decided to grow some after being inspired by The Beekman Boys last spring. It just looked so pretty in their garden! And I think it looks awfully pretty in mine too.
I didn’t have a plan for dinner. (I rarely do, to be honest.) I wandered out into the garden and pulled up two heads of Swiss chard. I had watched an episode of Brunch at Bobby’s a few weeks ago and remembered him saying to cook the stems for ten minutes and the leaves for five. Here’s my gorgeous Swiss chard, all prepped and cleaned and just five minutes out of the ground. You really don’t get fresher produce than that! Let’s dive in, shall we?
Easy Swiss Chard Pasta
2 heads of Swiss chard
1-2 tbsp roasted garlic olive oil (regular olive oil will do but it’s delicious with flavored oil)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups pasta
Handful of grated Parmesan
1) Fill a pot with water and set over high heat. Proceed while you’re waiting for the water the boil.
2) Heat a tablespoon of olive oil (preferably roasted garlic olive oil- yum!) in a skillet over medium heat.
3) While your oil is heating up, cut the leaves off of the Swiss chard stems. Chop the stems the way you would celery for stuffing. Toss into the oiled pan. Season to taste with freshly ground sea salt and pepper. (I did four grinds of sea salt and a pinch of pepper.) Keep an eye on your stems. It should take 5-6 minutes for them to soften.
3) Your water should be boiling by now. Add a generous amount of salt and two cups of good pasta. Cook according to package directions. (Mine took 8-10 minutes to boil so I set the timer for eight minutes.)
4) By now your stems should be somewhat cooked. Reduce the heat to medium low. Roughly chop the Swiss chard leaves and add directly to the stems.
5) Feel free to ooh and ahh over how pretty this dish is as you add about half a tablespoon more of olive oil to help the leaves along. You’ll also want another grind of salt. The stems need about five minutes, which should give the pasta enough time to finish cooking. When you have about two minutes left, add the minced garlic. You want to take the edge off without burning it.
6) Drain pasta, add to skillet. Stir well so that the chard and pasta can get acquainted. While still in the skillet, add a generous handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Don’t measure. Can you really ever have too much Parmesan? I probably put 1/4 cup in, then shaved some on top.
That’s it! If you want to be super Italian, drizzle a bit of that beautiful roasted garlic oil on top.