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Spaghetti with Swiss Chard, Parmesan, and Lemon Zest Recipe

Staff Writer
Peggy Bourjaily


To make this recipe vegetarian, feel free to leave out the anchovy. A handful of toasted walnuts with a sprinkling of fennel pollen (if you have it as it’s very hard to find) is a wonderful way to push this spaghetti dish with swiss char all the way.

Click here to see tips for cooking and buying Swiss chard. 

Deliver Ingredients


  • Salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons anchovy paste (or 3-4 anchovy filets minced)
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard with stems chopped and leaves lightly chopped (about 10-12 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • Black pepper, to taste


Set a stockpot over a high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, salt it generously and poor in the spaghetti. Cook until al dente. Drain.

Once the pasta water is on, set a large pan over a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. When it’s shimmering, add the garlic and anchovy paste and cook just until the garlic is soft. Add the Swiss chard stems and cook until softened. Add the Swiss chard leaves one handful at a time, stirring and flipping with tongs until the leaves are wilted.

When the pasta is ready and the chard is wilted, add the spaghetti, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, and crème fraîche to the pan. Turn off the heat and mix the pasta well. Add a bit of pepper to taste and serve.

Spaghetti Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Spaghetti Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.

Spaghetti Wine Pairing

Cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nero d'avola, primitivo, sangiovese, or carménère with meat- or tomato-based sauces; grenache or chardonnay with cream-based sauces; pinot gris/grigio, albariño, or other fresh white wines (for instance, soave, Italian sauvignon, or grillo) with seafood pasta; nebbiolo, dolcetto, or barbera with most non-seafood pasta.