Baked Pasta with Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese

This family favorite never goes to waste at our house. It's adapted from Martha Rose Shulman's Macaroni With Tomato Sauce, Chard and Goat Cheese recipe. It's not obvious that it has a pound of nutritious Swiss chard or that it's made with goat cheese. I use an easy kid-friendly homemade pasta sauce, but you can use your favorite tomato based sauce. The red sauce makes the Swiss chard less obvious especially since I top the recipe with straight marinara sauce. I also use a higher fiber pasta. If time is short, you can skip the baking step and toss the warm marinara (2 cups instead of 4 cups), Swiss chard, and goat cheese mixture with hot pasta, top with fresh Parmesan, and serve immediately. Baked Pasta with Swiss Chard and Goats Cheese Ingredients
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4 cups pasta sauce 1 pound Swiss chard, whole 12 ounces whole grain or high fiber penne rigata or similar tube pasta 3 ounces soft, mild goat cheese 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and oil a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil.
2) Heat 3 cups of tomato or marinara sauce up in a pan or bowl. When sauce is hot, stir in the goat cheese.
3) Begin heating a large pot of water for the chard. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water in the pot comes to a boil, add the salt and then add the bunch of Swiss chard, so the stems are sticking out of the water. Blanch for one to two minutes, then transfer the chard by the stems to the ice water and drain. Squeeze out excess water and chop finely. Add chopped chard to the tomato sauce cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4) Discard the water used to cook the Swiss chard and refill the pot with water for the pasta. When it comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook the pasta for a minute less than the instructions on the package indicate. It should still be a little underdone as it will finish cooking in the oven.
5) Drain the pasta, and mix it with the sauce mixture and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, until pasta is thoroughly coated with the sauce. Transfer to a baking dish. Top pasta with the 1 cup of reserved marinara sauce and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan.
6) Bake in the preheated oven until the pasta is bubbly, and the top just beginning to color, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.