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RECIPE: Farfalle with Shallots and Chard

RECIPE: Farfalle with Shallots and Chard

Chef and Author Dynise Balcavage knows a thing or two about chowing down on a plant-based diet on a budget.   Here’s a meal that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, that can feed the whole fam healthfully, deliciously, and easily!

In my opinion, shallots are one of the most neglected veggies in America. Often overshadowed by their bolder cousins, onion and garlic, classy shallot has a gentler, sweeter taste. In some ways, though, its subtlety is more powerful and enduring. Think of Audrey Hepburn in a bulb. In this easy dish, I’ve paired shallots with another spring classic, chard, with a bit of lemon juice for freshness.   [Low-fat, frugal]


  • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 5-6 shallots, peeled and slices (Enough to equal approximately 1 medium onion)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large bunch of chard, tough stems removed, leaves chopped fairly finely
  • 1 pound of farfalle  (Good substitutes include orchiettte and gemelli)
  • About 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • Nutritional yeast for sprinkling


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Heat oil over medium in a separate, large high-sided pan. Add hot pepper flakes, let cook for a few seconds to infuse the oil, then add the shallots. Sprinkle with salt, and saute until the shallots are soft and translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Take care not to brown them.
  3. Meanwhile, blanche the chard in the boiling water until it wilts. The idea is simply to precook the greens; careful not to overcook or you will have mush (and fewer vitamins). Depending on the variety of chard you use, it will color your water from beet red to dark green. This is normal and will add even more flavor to your pasta as it cooks.
  4. Remove chard with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander. When it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water.
  5. Add pasta to your colored water. Cook according to package directions.
  6. Turn up the heat, and add a ladle of pasta water to the shallot-pepper-oil mixture, then stir in the chard and lemon juice. Add more water if it seems dry (or more oil, if you are prone to decadence).
  7. When chard is cooked through (taste first!), toss with drained farfalle, top with nutritional yeast and more salt, if desired, and enjoy.

Philly vegan Dynise Balcavage is the author of three incredible plant based cookbooks you need to own.

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