Penne with Chard, Bacon, and Feta

Posted in: Chard


  • 1 pound Penne Pasta , use gluten-free if desired
  • 6 ounces Bacon , cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, optional (use 1 tablespoon olive oil in place)
  • 2 Garlic , minced
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard , center stems removed, and reserved
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flake , optional
  • 6 ounces Feta Cheese , crumbled
  • Salt and Pepper , to taste


  1. Slice chard stems from leaves, but leave in one long piece. Stack chard leaves and slice into 1/2 inch wide ribbons. Reserve.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook penne 1 minute less than package instructions. During the last minute of cooking pasta, add the chard stems. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking liquid, and drain pasta and stems. Chop chard stems to 1/2 inch dice and add them to reserved chard leaves.
  3. Meanwhile, in large skillet, render fat from bacon strips over medium heat. When bacon is crisply cooked, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain bacon on towels. Discard all but 1-2 tablespoons of the rendered fat. In same skillet stir the garlic in the hot bacon fat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chard and wilt. Deglaze pan with white wine, turn heat up to high, and boil the wine for about 1-2 minutes, scraping up any brown bits in the pan. When the smell of alcohol has cooked off, add the penne into the kale mixture and sauté for about 1 minute. Add pasta water a little at a time if pasta seems dry. When pasta is fully cooked, stir in optional red pepper flakes, feta cheese and drained bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Local Thyme recipe service