Lemony Light Spaghetti

Delicate yet filling, this Spaghetti with Shrimp, Lemon, and Chard came together super fast and easily. A generous amount of lemon, in zest and juice forms, keeps things bright, while a bit of cream ties everything together—just don’t expect a thick sauce. Silken Swiss chard replaces spinach in this delicious riff on shrimp Florentine.

My only complaint would be the amount of chard. By the time you cut out the thick stems and wilt down the leaves, there’s not much left! Do your self a favor and double the amount. Another option is to chop down the thick stems and sauté them with some shallots before you add the tender leaves. Just be aware that the red color from the stems will bleed and turn your bright yellow sauce a different color.

And you just know we increased our quota of red pepper flakes! This was so good as leftovers for lunch the next day too.



  • 10 oz. Swiss chard, tough stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. large shrimp (31 to 35 per lb.), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz. spaghetti
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest plus
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from about 1 large, or 2 small lemons)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Remove tough stems from tender leaves. If desired, chop the stems and sauté with some shallots before adding leaf strips. 

Washed chard strips are added to a hot skillet.

The chard wilts down dramatically so you may want to increase the amount.

After the spaghetti is al dente, add the remaining oil, lemon zest, and cream to the reserved pasta water. Bring to a boil, and cook until slightly thickened.

Mix all ingredients together and let sit for a couple of minutes before plating.


  1. Rinse and drain the chard, but don’t spin dry.
  2. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chard, 3 Tbs. water, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return the reserved cooking water to the pot.
  6. Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil, lemon zest, and cream. Bring to a boil, and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the pasta, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Toss together and remove from the heat.
  8. Add the chard mixture and toss for about 1 minute to allow the pasta to absorb some of the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

by Mindy Fox from Fine Cooking

Top with shredded parmesan cheese if desired.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s