Monday, July 28, 2014

Linguine with Swiss Chard and Bacon

Sometimes I forget just how great bacon is. There's a reason that southern cooks add bacon to their cooked greens. The combination of rich, crunchy bacon and the slight bitterness of greens borders on something magical.

Our garden just keeps producing this summer. Can you believe that I skipped grocery shopping for a week? Okay, I did pick up milk but thanks to the garden, we're eating our veggies.

Yesterday morning, after a hard rain, I brought in what looked like a lot of Swiss chard. Of course, it cooks down, like spinach, so don't be thrown off by the uncooked volume. I snipped off the stems to freeze for winter soups and sliced the leaves for this recipe. Use your salad spinner to wash and semi-dry it.

The recipe is easy peasy. Cooking the veggies in the bacon grease adds to the flavor so that no other sauce is necessary. Instead of draining the pasta, I used a pasta spoon to add the linguini to the veggies, which added just a bit of the pasta water to the dish. If you prefer less bacon grease, then pour off about half before cooking the onions.

By the way, did you know that uncooked bacon freezes well? You can keep a little stash in your freezer to pull out for dishes like this.

I thought this would serve at least three. Ahem. It served two.

Linguini with Swiss Chard and Bacon

1 large, deep frying pan with a lid

1/2 package (6 slices) bacon
1/2 red onion
2 good-sized garlic cloves
1-2 large bunches Swiss chard
8 ounces linguini

Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces and fry until crispy. Meanwhile, heat the water for the pasta, dice the onions, cut the Swiss chard into 1 1/2-inch strips, and mince the garlic.

Cook the linguini according to the package instructions.

When the bacon is crisp, scoop out, place in a bowl and set aside. (Pour off some of the grease if you like.) Add the onions to the pan and cook, lowering the heat. When the onions are soft, add the garlic, stirring for a minute or two so it won't burn. Promptly add the Swiss chard. Cover the pan and let the Swiss chard wilt. When it has cooked down a little bit, stir to combine. Cover and cook again until the Swiss chard has wilted and is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked linguini and bacon (reserve a few pieces for garnish) to the pan and combine. Serve and sprinkle with a few pieces of bacon for garnish.

Pack the pan with Swiss chard.

It cooks down to this!


Coming December 2nd


  1. Yum!! I love the title of your book too! Ronnalord(at)msn(dot)com

    1. I'm so glad that you like the title, Ronna! It was very close but my editor decided to go with it in the end.

  2. Replies
    1. It's very easy, Roberta. One pot cooking, well, except for the pasta . . .

  3. Yum. I love chard, but my husband is not a fan, so this year I only have one plant. Mourn.

    I've found that it freezes well, rinsed, drained, and packed flat in freezer bags. Bonus: when you cook it later, instead of chopping it, you can just crinkle up the package of frozen greens and it's essentially chopped.

    1. This is such a great tip, Karen. This is exactly what I'm going to do. We couldn't possibly eat it all right now.

  4. What a great idea Karen! This looks so yummy. I've never met anything with bacon in it that I didn't like! This would be one way to get my hubby to eat his veggies.

    1. I suppose he could pick them out but he might not bother!

  5. Bacon, Swiss chard, and pasta. What's not to love?! This sounds like a brilliantly simple and delicious meal.
    8 oz. of pasta for three? Dream on! Not even close.

    1. LOL, Libby! I'm trying to reverse the pasta to veggie ratio in our lives!

  6. How gorgeous and delicious! Wish I had enough space for a thriving garden. I failed miserably every time I move and tried to build one. My latest attempt at herbs only also failed. And I can grow roses!!! LOL At least my lemon tree doesn't fail me.

    Thanks, Krista. Love the new cover!

    1. Ohhh! A lemon tree. How wonderful! Last year, a tomato blight hit us very hard. Actually, it hit everyone in the county and counties beyond. We're just beginning to pick tomatoes this year. Crossing fingers, so far no sign of blight. Gardens can be unpredictable!

  7. Delicious and healthy, Krista. Thank you! Hugs,