A Simple Surprise from the Garden

Posted by on Mar 25, 2013 in Pasta | 2 comments

A Simple Surprise from the Garden

The farmers’ market vendors have Swiss Chard stacked up to the sky in winter and spring. Green, red or rainbow chard are tucked into CSA boxes too-- I love the versatile broad leaves to wrap around legumes and grains like stuffed cabbage rolls or in soups and stews.















MP planted green chard and we have plenty of it in the garden.








We devoured this simple dish of the fantastic greens with on hand items!

I didn't line the ingredients up for the usual photo shoot-- because there was no real plan.







A cast iron skillet is always loyal and perfect to sauté an onion and garlic.  I  couldn’t decide whether to carefully chop it or slice it--it sort of just got hacked up.

For real?  Slice it for pretty sake.








Season with salt and pepper adding crushed red pepper to give it a punch.








Optional white wine and a can of diced tomatoes are added to simmer while you







prep the chard.  I didn't even remove the ribs.  They were so tender I chopped them up as well.







Cover and simmer while you cook the pasta.  Rigatoni seemed right because I had a half box in the pantry.








Chopped Kalamata olives and toasted pine nuts with a shower of Parmesan cheese finished the pasta which went straight to the table-- in the skillet.

Please try!

Rigatoni with Swiss Chard and Olives


Rigatoni with Swiss Chard and Olives


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard (about 8 cups)
  • 8 ounces rigatoni
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes; sauté another 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and the tomatoes to combine. Pile the chard on top of the vegetables and sauté until wilted. Stir in the olives. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook until the tomatoes and chard are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile cook rigatoni according to the directions; drain (reserving ½ cup pasta water). Toss pasta with the chard mixture adding some reserved pasta water to loosen if necessary.
  3. Transfer to a large platter and serve with pine nuts and cheese.
  4. Serves 4






  1. 3-25-2013

    Sounds quick, easy and good. I have never bought chard (Swiss or otherwise) but this may be the time to try it!

    Hugs to you and Poppy and your young frenchman, who I am sure is enjoying Coco’s cooking!

  2. 3-25-2013

    This sounds wonderful Peggy. I absolutely love Chard! My kind of dinner, quick and no fuss.

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