Creamy Pasta with Chard

Pasta with chard is one of our all-time favorite “simple recipes”. We add a balsamella sauce to this dish to temper some of the natural bitterness of the chard and to add some creaminess. We use tripolini pasta here, but fettuccine, ziti, or whatever shape you love, would be wonderful. We’re just guessing about the amount of chard – we picked up a “small portion” at the farmer’s market.

Servings and Times

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Tools and Appliances

Links Provided By
Alternate Preparations: Pasta with Chard, Tomato Pesto Spaghetti with Chard


We begin by washing and drying the chard. In our salad spinner we put a third of the chard. We fill the spinner with water and then lift out the strainer with the chard. We discard the water, rinse, and then dump the chard into the big plastic bowl of the spinner. We fill with water, lift out the chard to the rinsed strainer. We repeat until the water is clear. Then, we quickly spin dry. It doesn’t need to be very dry since we are sauteeing it. We place the clean chard in a large bowl and repeat the cleaning process with the next third of the chard. When it is all washed, we remove the tough stems and chop it coarsely on a large cutting board, a third at a time. We also mince our garlic.

We start cooking by putting a large pot of water on the stove and heating it for the pasta. In a medium pot, we melt the butter over low heat. We add the flour and cook for four minutes, stirring often. This butter-flour mixture is known as a roux. We are making a balsamella (bechamel in french) sauce, although a lower fat version of it by cutting the amount of butter in half and using reduced fat milk.

We heat the milk in the microwave on full power for a minute and a half. We whisk the heated milk into the roux slowly and increase to medium-low heat, stirring often until it comes to a boil.

Meanwhile, we add the minced garlic and the olive oil to a pan over low heat. We are just getting the garlic ready slowly while we wait for the meal to come together. The chard only takes a few minutes to cook.

When the pasta water comes to a boil, we add some salt, and the pasta, and cook until al dente.

Back to the milk pot, which we have been stirring often. When the mixture comes to a boil, we boil this on low heat for a few minutes. We add a little salt and pepper and a fresh grating of nutmeg. We then turn off the heat and add the Locatelli, stirring well.

A few minutes before the pasta is ready (it takes about 7 minutes for this shape of pasta), we raise the heat on the garlic pan to medium-low and when sizzling, we add the chard. We wilt it down quickly, turning with tongs often. We add a little pepper and turn the heat off.

When the pasta is done, we drain it in a colander. We combine the pasta and cheese sauce in the empty pot we used to boil the water. We stir to coat and add the lemon juice, tomatoes, and some torn basil. We add a little more salt and pepper after we taste for seasoning. We top each serving with some of the chard and some red pepper flakes.

Send us feedback on this recipe
Search Google for other Creamy Pasta with Chard recipes
Find cookbooks Dinner, Italian, Main-course, Pasta, Vegetarian