Penne with Swiss Chard and Ricotta

It has been far too long since I shared my last pasta recipe.  192 days to be exact, but who’s counting.  Just because it has been awhile doesn’t mean I don’t make pasta often.  It is one thing I will not compromise giving up when I am watching what I eat.  Sweets, and even meat I can honestly live without.  Ok, maybe not sweets since I do like my sweet treats but if I had to choose between pasta or sweets, pasta would win hands down. 

What I like to do to fill my urge for pasta without going overboard is I load it with lots of veggies or a nice hearty puttanesca sauce.  I load my bowl with the veggies and sauce and less noodles that way I trick myself thinking I’m having a nice big bowl of pasta.  I also like to use one of the many healthy pastas that are on the market that are more filling and better for you.  Top with some fresh shavings of  Parmesan cheese for a satisfying meal.

This pasta dish is sure to take care of any pasta craving.  Penne tossed in olive oil, garlic, swiss chard, sun dried tomatoes, Parmesan and topped with a creamy ricotta.  Whip this up for an easy dinner any night of the week.  

Remove leaves from stems and coarsely chop swiss chard. 

Place leaves on top of 1/2 cup of water in a deep saute pan.  Add a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until just wilted.  Drain leaves and set aside. 

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook for another minute. 

Toss in pasta, swiss chard, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, oregano, red pepper flakes and any optional add-ins.  Top with ricotta cheese.  Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until cheese is melted. 

Penne with Swiss Chard and Ricotta

Serves 3-4


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bunch (3/4 pound) swiss chard, leaves removed from stems and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 ounces penne pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Make it your own- Optional add-ins
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup whole roasted garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cooked pancetta (optional)


  1. Add water to the bottom of a deep saute pan. Place swiss chard on top with a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until just wilted. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in deep saute pan over medium heat. Add in garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add in pasta and toss evenly to coat. Stir in swiss chard, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and any optional add-ins. Dollop with ricotta cheese. Turn heat to low and cover until cheese is melted.
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  1. Jennifer – this looks so comforting! I am always looking for great pasta ideas that are healthy, so I can have them more often!

  2. Okay, I’ve always been scared of chard, but in this? I can do it! Pinned!

  3. Wow, this is my kind of pasta! I try to make pasta at least once a week since the leftovers are so good to bring to work.

  4. I love pasta loaded with veggies, this looks so good!

  5. I make a similar one using feta + swiss chard. This looks great!

  6. I hate to sound stupid but what does chard taste like? I live in the midwest and rarely see it in stores.

  7. I’m the same Jen I would find it really hard to go without pasta. It’s out go-to cuisine around here. Love how easy and tasty this one looks!

  8. Yes, pasta is a weekly thing for me 192 days is a long time. I love this one, too!

  9. I am a pasta lover as well. I would give up sweets, meat, and maybe even wine (the wine is questionable though!) for my pasta! I love how simple and delicious this recipe is. Thanks for the reminder to make some pasta soon!

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