A Simple Swiss Chard Pasta Recipe
I’m really loving the ‘grow your own food’ part of my sustainable living journey. Harvesting your own food is such a pleasure. It all started with windowsill herbs and lettuce. Now I’m harvesting swiss chard, cabbage, spring onions and mange tout – just to name a handful of vegetables. I’ll be sharing an update on my spring harvest soon so do pop back.
About Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard is often compared to spinach. Some say it’s even better tasting with a more earthy flavour. And like spinach, it can be used in a number of dishes from soups to stir-fries, salads to omelets. It’s an excellent source of calcium potassium and magnesium. And when the leaves are young you don’t need to stem them, they can be eaten as is, cooked or raw. Stemming is recommended for larger leaves, as they take longer to cook, But these too can be cooked and enjoyed.
Swiss Chard, Spring Onion and Parmesan Pasta Recipe
This is such as simple recipe – it’s basically a béchamel sauce with parmesan and all the trimmings. It can be hearty or as light as you like depending on the portion. And I definitely recommend a good grind of black pepper once served.
Ingredients for 4 persons
- 70 -140g of raw swiss chard*
- 2-4 spring onions**
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 40g butter
- 20g plain flour
- 480 ml milk***
- salt and pepper
- 50g parmesan plus more for serving
- 320g dried fusilli pasta****
* cook as little swiss chard or as much as you’d like. Like spinach swiss chard shrinks once steamed.
**I’ve made this dish a number of times but used shop bought spring onions when taking photos of this recipe. They were so small compared to my home grown ones, which I wanted to wait to harvest for another week. So for this reason, like the swiss chard, add what you feel feels right, 2-3 good sized spring onions or 4-5 small ones. And if you don’t have spring onion, white onion will do just fine too.
***If you have time, warm your milk – it makes the sauce smoother and thicker quicker.
****I never weigh pasta or spaghetti when cooking. And although it’s often enough to feed a small army, it’s never wasted. From my research 80g of pasta is enough for a main meal, so hence the measurements given.
- Wash and stem the swiss chard if needed, don’t dry it.
- Roll the chard and slice – this will create strips of swiss chard.
- Put the chard in a large covered pot and cook on a medium heat until it’s soft. This usually takes about 4-5 minutes. Alternately steam your swiss chard, again until it’s soft.
- Strain your swiss chard, squeezing all the water out and set it aside.
- Cook your pasta with good pinch of salt.
- Warm your milk if you have time.
- Melt the butter in a big enough pot to take all the pasta for the dish.
- Add the spring onions and garlic, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. I like to use ground sea salt and black pepper. Cook until soft.
- Sprinkle in the flour and whisk with steel whisk or fork if you haven’t got one to hand.
- Keep cooking the roux until all the flour, butter, spring onion and garlic has combined.
- Gently add the milk, little by little like a little stream – whisking as you do so.
- Keep whisking away until the sauce becomes thick.
- Add in the finely grated parmesan and remove from the heat.
- Add the swiss chard, bit by bit, separating it as you go, not in a big clump. Mixing it through as you go.
- Toss in the cooked pasta and taste it again for seasoning.
- Serve and enjoy! I love another sprinkle of parmesan on top, along with a good grind of black pepper.
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