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Lemon-Scented Pasta with Swiss Chard

Lemon-Scented Pasta with Swiss Chard

Tomorrow’s Meatless Monday and I’ve got a good one for ya! I first concocted this heavenly pasta dish five summers ago after we had visited family in Vermont. The scenery was uniquely beautiful – I am always awestruck by how gorgeous the North Country farmland is.

On our way back to New York, we stopped at a farm and bought a little tub of fresh sheep’s milk ricotta cheese. Like so many small farms, they work on the honor system – you just leave your money in a little jar and take what you need. I find it really refreshing to see a system based on trust that is working just fine.

Ricotta cheese by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

I don’t usually wax poetic about cheese but this one was kind of special – pure white and so soft – it made me think of angels and sleeping newborn babies.

When we got back home, there was a ton of Swiss chard begging to be picked in the garden.

Rinsing the chard by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

I thought it would be tasty to sautee some chard with onions and garlic, then mix it with the pasta, throw in gobs of this amazing cheese and top with some pine nuts, basil and a healthy dose of lemon zest.

Sauteeing onions, garlic and chard ribs by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

I was right, it was dee-li-cious! Now I make this often. It’s quick, flavorful and filling – perfect for a†Meatless Monday dinner.

Lemon-scented pasta with swiss chard and ricotta cheese by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

Lemon-Scented Pasta With Swiss Chard & Ricotta
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

* 1 lb of pasta (use whatever you like)
* 1 large bunch chard, rinsed, dried, ribs removed, chopped and set aside, greens chopped into ribbons
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
* 1 tub (15 oz) ricotta cheese
* Zest of 1 large lemon (since you’re using the peel, I recommend using an organic lemon to avoid both wax and pesticides)
* A generous handful of pine nuts
* 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
* A pinch of red pepper flakes
* Sea salt to taste
* Freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 3 Tbsps olive oil

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta – once it boils add the pasta and cook until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsps olive oil in a wide saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add red pepper flakes, onions and chard ribs and sautee for around 4 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions become translucent. Add the garlic and sautee another 2 minutes or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Toss in the chard greens, stirring well to combine with the hot mixture in the pan, and sautee until wilted and bright green – another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

3. Drain the cooked pasta, rinse quickly with cold water, then return to the pot or place in whatever serving dish you plan to use and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil.

4. Add the chard mixture to the pasta and toss to combine. Top with the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, basil and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? “Like” the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.

Read more: Basics, Blogs, Eating for Health, Entrees, Food, Garden of Eating, Side Dishes, Soups & Salads, Uncategorized, Vegetarian, , , , , , ,

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Eve Fox

Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmersí markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow Eve on Twitter or Pinterest.

54 comments

+ add your own
4:24AM PDT on Jul 11, 2014

I like how you talk about the 'honesty' farms where you leave the $ for what you take. CURSES on the people who abuse this brilliant system - we all lose out!

7:40AM PDT on Jun 28, 2014

cool

10:32PM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

thanks

8:42AM PDT on Jun 18, 2014

Gonna make a vegan version cos it sounds so good-thanks

7:39AM PDT on Jun 10, 2014

TYFS

4:34AM PDT on Jun 10, 2014

A refreshing treat

4:19AM PDT on Jun 10, 2014

Thank you!

9:14PM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Thanks, sounds tasty and healthy.

6:31PM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Yum thanks

5:38PM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Lemon scented.

How does that compare with lemon flavored?

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