Lighten Your Load, of Pasta That Is

Pasta can be heavy, but this Spaghetti with Shrimp, Lemon, and Chard recipe lightens the load, AND, satisfies the craving. Here, silken Swiss chard replaces spinach in a delicious riff on shrimp Florentine. A good amount of lemon, in zest and juice forms, keeps things bright, while a bit of cream ties everything together.

But of course we had to put our own stamp on this dish from Fine Cooking. First off, we reduced the amount of spaghetti from 12 ounces down to 8 for a better balance of ingredients. Then, instead of discarding the tasty and colorful chard stems, we diced them and added a sliced shallot which were both sautéed together before cooking the chard leaves. Our changes are reflected below.

Served with a side salad, you walk away from the table satiated, yet not stuffed and bloated.


Spaghetti with Shrimp, Lemon and Chard

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 10 oz. Swiss chard, tough stems removed and diced, remaining stems and leaves cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 large shallot
  • 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
  • 8 oz. spaghetti
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest plus
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Rinse and drain the chard, but don’t spin dry.img_0949
  2. Dice chard stems and thinly slice shallot.
  3. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced stems and sliced shallot and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the chard leaves, 3 Tbs. water, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil, lemon zest, and cream. Bring to a boil, and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add the pasta, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Toss together and remove from the heat.
  10. 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.
    If desired, grate fresh parmesan over the individual serving dishes.

Recipe by Mindy Fox from Fine Cooking

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