Saturday, September 10, 2011

Swiss Chard and Portobello Mushrooms

Pasta is a family favorite and so are mushrooms. But Swiss chard has replaced spinach as a green of choice. It is heartier than spinach and does not leave you with that alkaline taste in your mouth, unless you use organic spinach.  

This is an earthy dish with whole wheat pasta, Swiss chard and meaty portobello mushrooms. I use red onions in this dish, since the mushrooms and chard can both stand up to the stronger flavor of red onions.Chili flakes give it a little kick and the goat cheese ties up the dish, creating a light, tangy and creamy sauce. The goat cheese must be at room temperature, otherwise it remains clumpy and does not mix well.

Spaghetti with Swiss chard and Portobello mushrooms

4 oz whole wheat spaghetti
1 bunch organic Swiss chard, washed and trimmed, stems cut into 1/2 inch pieces and the leaves cut into 1/2 inch ribbons
2 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (I use 1/2 teaspoon since I like it spicy)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 oz soft goat cheese at room temperature
  1. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the sliced portobello mushrooms and cook without stirring till the mushrooms acquire a golden brown color on one side about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn them over and add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and continue to cook for another couple of minutes till they are soft and golden. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same skillet and add the chili flakes and garlic and lower the heat to medium - cook for 30 seconds and add the chopped red onion. Cook till the onions start to soften and become translucent - about 4 to 5 minutes and then add the chopped Swiss chard stems. Saute for another 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat and then add the chopped chard leaves. Toss well and cover and cook over medium heat till the stems and the leaves are soft about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the cover and add 3/4 teaspoon of salt and the sauteed mushrooms. Mix well.
  3. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook till it is al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta. 
  4. Add the hot pasta and the crumbled goat cheese to the mushroom and chard mixture. Toss everything well and keep adding the reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a light sauce that clings to the pasta. Serve hot.
Serves 2


  1. I tried this tonight after searching online for swiss chard and portobello recipes--all I had left in the fridge for dinner. It was great! I threw in some Hungarian paprika and ground thyme with and some shredded parmesan. They raved and I was happy they got their veggies in. Thanks for the inspiration for dinner tonight.