This dish highlights the often-overlooked Swiss chard ribs, sautéed until tender and then simmered in a light cream sauce, served over pasta for a meal that is both comforting and elegant. It’s a wonderful way to utilize the whole vegetable, offering a delightful blend of flavors and textures.


  • 12 ounces pasta (fettuccine, linguine, or tagliatelle recommended)
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs and leaves separated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Fresh lemon zest (for garnish)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Prepare the Swiss Chard: Wash the Swiss chard thoroughly. Cut the ribs into 1/2-inch pieces and roughly chop the leaves. Keep them separate.
  2. Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water, and set aside.
  3. Sauté the Swiss Chard Ribs: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the Swiss chard ribs and a pinch of salt. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, or until the ribs start to become tender. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  4. Add the Cream: Pour the heavy cream into the skillet with the Swiss chard ribs. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes, allowing the cream to slightly thicken. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg, if using.
  5. Combine with Pasta: Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, tossing to coat with the cream sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a little reserved pasta water to reach your desired consistency.
  6. Add Swiss Chard Leaves: Stir in the chopped Swiss chard leaves, allowing them to wilt in the hot pasta and cream sauce, about 2 minutes.
  7. Finish the Dish: Remove from heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese until melted and well combined.
  8. Serve: Divide the pasta among plates or bowls. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, fresh lemon zest, and chopped parsley.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

  • Calories: 600
  • Fat: 28g
  • Carbohydrates: 70g
  • Protein: 20g

Prep and Cooking Time:

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  • Serves: 4 people

Sautéed Swiss Chard Ribs with Cream and Pasta offers a unique and flavorful way to enjoy Swiss chard in its entirety. The combination of tender chard ribs, creamy sauce, and pasta creates a delicious meal that’s both satisfying and elegant. Enjoy this dish with a side of crusty bread or a simple salad for a complete meal.

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