Chef Batali: Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Swiss Chard

Prep: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes
Serving Size: 4 people


1 pound whole-wheat rigatoni
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced 1⁄3-inch thick
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound Swiss chard, trimmed, stems and leaves sliced 1⁄4-inch thick
1⁄2 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot.

2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot, stir in the onions and garlic slices. Add the chopped Swiss chard. Season with salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until chard softens.

3. Toast fresh breadcrumbs in a dry pan until toasted and deep brown but not burned. Set aside.

4. When water is boiling, add 4 tablespoons of salt and drop in pasta. Cook pasta until two minutes short of package cooking time for al dente.

5. Uncover chard, stir and cook, for 8 or 9 minutes more, until chard is very tender.

6. Drain the pasta, reserving about 2 cups pasta water. Drop the pasta into the sauté pan with the chard, along with a ladle of pasta cooking water. Toss thoroughly until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is evenly coated, adding more pasta water if needed. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season with fresh pepper.

7. Serve the pasta in a bowl and sprinkle with bread crumbs over the top. Serve immediately.