Whole-Wheat Pasta With Chard and Pine Nuts


All you need are 7 ingredients to make this restaurant-worthy dinner. 

Whole Wheat Pasta with Chard and Pine Nuts
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

A great pasta dish isn't about fancy ingredients, it's about technique. This recipe, from Bare Minimum Dinners, will teach you how to do it. You'll start by cooking the pasta until it's just al dente and saving the pasta water, which will thicken the sauce so it slicks each piece perfectly. Next, you'll sauté the chard stems with anchovies and garlic—hello, flavor bomb—and then add the leaves so they're just wilted. Tossed all together with the pasta, starch-rich pasta water, and toasted pine nuts, the result is a delicious, sophisticated dish that's surprisingly easy.


  • 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti

  • 2 bunches Swiss chard

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 3 anchovy fillets

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for water

  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts or chopped toasted walnuts or almonds

  • Crushed red pepper and flaky sea salt, for serving (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of generously-salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, 9 to 10 minutes. Do not drain. (You should be able to complete the next 2 steps before pasta is finished cooking.)

  2. While water is coming to a boil, slice stems out of chard leaves and cut stems into 2-inch lengths. Chop leaves.

  3. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium. Add anchovies; break them up with a spoon until they dissolve in oil. Add garlic and chard stems; cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add chard leaves and salt. Cook, stirring, until leaves start to wilt, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low until pasta is finished cooking.

  4. When pasta is ready, use tongs to transfer it to pan with chard. With a measuring cup or ladle, add enough pasta water to coat pasta and fully wilt leaves. Toss pasta with leaves. Serve topped with pine nuts, a drizzle of oil, and, if desired, crushed red pepper and flaky sea salt.


Excerpted from Bare Minimum Dinners: Recipes and Strategies for Doing Less in the Kitchen. Copyright © 2021 by Jenna Helwig. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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