Riverford Wicked Leeks
Chard, bacon, rosemary and chilli pasta recipe image

Print Chard, bacon, rosemary and chilli pasta

Combining aromatic rosemary, spicy chilli, salty bacon and greens, this simple, full-flavoured pasta dish makes an excellent weeknight meal. If you don't have chard in your veg box, it works as well with spinach, kale or spring or winter greens. And you could try chorizo instead of bacon for a smokier finish.


  • Oil for frying, e.g. vegetable or sunflower
  • 150g bacon lardons
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 300g chard, leaves stripped from the stalks, stalks finely chopped
  • 200g spelt fusilli pasta
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
  • 1 rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
  • 25g Parmesan, grated
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, add the bacon lardons and fry for 3-4 minutes until browned. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add a splash more oil to the pan and turn the heat down. Add the onion and chopped chard stems. Fry gently for 10 minutes, stirring now and then to stop them catching.
  3. Boil the chard leaves for 3 minutes, then drain. Refresh in a bowl of cold water, then drain again and squeeze out any excess moisture. Roughly chop the leaves.
  4. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  5. Meanwhile, add the garlic, chilli, rosemary and bacon to the onion and chard stems. Season (not too much salt as the bacon’s salty). Stir fry gently for 3 minutes. Add the chard leaves and stir fry for 3 minutes.
  6. When the pasta is tender, drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Stir the pasta into the chard and bacon sauce, with ¾ of the Parmesan, the lemon zest and a splash of cooking water.
  7. Check the seasoning, then sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan to serve.
want to cook with fresh ingredients? try one of our award winning veg boxes