The end of March and the beginning of April is what I think of as a bridge between seasons. It’s officially spring but winter always tries to hold on a bit longer. With dark greens, butter, fresh lemon and basil, this recipe unites winter and spring in one fresh, creamy and comforting bowl.
Lemon Butter Penne with Chard
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 2-1/2 cups Swiss chard, de-stemmed and thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, boil the water for the pasta. Cook until it is al dente (tender but still has a bit of bite to it).
- In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until lightly fragrant and golden in color.
- Add the Swiss chard and sauté until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, basil and crushed red pepper. Stir until the butter is melted.
- Strain the pasta from the water, adding it directly to the sauté pan.
- Toss the pasta in the lemon butter sauce until it is well coated.
- Serve immediately.
You can have fun by sprinkling on toppings like toasted, chopped walnuts and/or salty cheese such as feta. Adding cooked shrimp also would be an excellent variation.