Kristine Kidd

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Pasta with Asparagus, Chard, and Pine Nuts
Power Pasta

Here’s a simple and easy-to-put-together dish that gets its great taste from fresh vegetables and basil, snappy extra-virgin olive oil, and truly delectable pasta. Barilla is one of my favorite gluten-free pastas, but I recently discovered Power Pasta at a gluten-free festival in Austin, and I developed this recipe to show it off.

Power Pasta is worth exploring, even if you’re not on a gluten-free diet. Being made from red lentils, Power Pasta has a subtle red blush after cooking, a gentle sweet-nutty flavor, and perhaps best of all, its wonderfully satisfying because it is a whole food packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. It’s best if slightly undercooked because it changes from stiff to too soft if even a tad overcooked. While the label suggests cooking the rotini for 8-10 minutes, I find if I drain it after about 6 minutes of cooking, the pasta has a pleasant, resilient texture. One more noteworthy characteristic: we had a little leftover, and it reheated better than other gluten-free pastas. This is a new product with limited distribution, so to try, order it directly from Power Pasta.

I urge you to cook this recipe even if you don’t try the red lentil pasta. It’s a perfect dish for spring, loaded with seasonal vegetables that are so good right now, they need only a little aged Parmesan cheese (have you tried the 3-year-old Parmigiano Reggiano Stravecchio at Trader Joe’s?) and a shower of toasted pine nuts to shine. And I almost forgot to mention: the sauce can be made in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Pasta with Asparagus, Chard, and Pine Nuts

Kristine Kidd
Extra-virgin olive oil is important to the taste of this dish, so use your favorite one here. Makes 2 servings


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 big pinches red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch chard, ribs and stems discarded, leaves chopped
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, but into 1½-inch lengths
  • 6 ounces gluten-free rotini or penne pasta
  • cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • Coarsely grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and red pepper flakes and sauté until the shallot begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the chard leaves, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir to coat with the oil. Add ¼ cup water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the chard is tender, about 6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the asparagus to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until just tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer the asparagus to a bowl. Add the pasta to the boiling water and stir. Cover and return to a boil. Uncover and cook until the pasta is almost tender but still firm to the bite, about 6 minutes for rotini and 7 minutes for penne. Reserve about ½ cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Drain the pasta.
  • Add the asparagus to the chard and stir over medium heat to warm. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Mix in the basil, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, adding some of the reserved pasta liquid if dry. Season to taste with salt and generously with pepper. Divide the pasta between 2 plates. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and cheese and serve.
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5 thoughts on “Pasta with Asparagus, Chard, and Pine Nuts<br> Power Pasta”

  1. nolie fishman

    What a great start to the asparagus season! Delicious and healthy. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  2. Just made this for dinner. It was delicious! I used the Power Pasta and loved the idea that I was eating all vegetables and no rice. Very comforting and satisfying!

  3. Made this tonight with Trader Joe’s organic gluten free black bean rotini and was delicious! Used 1 cup frozen peas in place of asparagus Thanks for the tip on cooking the pasta – so true! I cooked the pasta for the upper limit on the bag of 10 minutes and was too much. Pasta broke down somewhat when tossed with the chard mix. Favors were still awesome!

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