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Swiss Chard Caccio e Pepe

Servings: 4

Commonly thought of as a “winter” green, chard elevates a classic quick-to-make pasta to a hearty meal.


  • 1 large bunch or 2 medium bunches rainbow or Swiss chard
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper; more to taste
  • 12 oz. spaghetti
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. pecorino romano, finely grated (about 1-1/2 cups); more for serving


  • Trim any tough stems from the chard, then cut the tender stems and leaves crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces to yield 9 cups.
  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the 1-1/2 tsp. pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the chard to the water, and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chard to a colander, and set aside to drain. Add the pasta to the water, and cook according to package directions until al dente. When the pasta is almost ready, transfer the chard to a medium bowl.
  • Reserve 1-1/2 cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add about 1 cup of the cooking water and the butter to the pan with the pepper and oil, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the pasta and cheese, and toss until the cheese melts; add the remaining cooking water as needed to create a creamy sauce that coats the pasta without clumping. Remove from the heat, add the chard, and toss again to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with additional cheese, if you like.


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