spaghetti with shrimp, swiss chard and mascarpone

A recipe from Mindy Fox. 
By: Anna Becker / 07/14/2015 /

Shrimp, sugar snap peas and ribbons of swiss chard are the stars of this creamy pasta dish. The sauce that brings it all together is made by reducing some of the pasta cooking water (full of good starchiness) with lemon juice, and then whisking in a few tablespoons of cream cheese. It’s just enough decadence to give the pasta a rich mouthfeel and balance out all of the bright flavors. Cook, relax, and enjoy!

What you’ll need: 8 ounces rainbow Swiss chard 6 ounces leeks, white and light green parts only (1 medium) 4 ounces sugar snap peas 1 lemon (4 oz) 6 ounces spaghetti 12 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp (31/40s, medium-large) 2 ounces cream cheese or 2 ½ ounces mascarpone cheese ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (0.03 oz) Olive oil Coarse salt freshly ground black pepper

Equipment: Large pot Colander Large skillet Zester Cut up swiss chard

Recipe Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, remove stems from chard leaves, then thinly cut stems crosswise. Stack leaves, then roll up lengthwise and slice into 1-inch-thick pieces. Rinse leaves and stems, leaving water clinging to leaves.

  2. Cut off root end and dark green part of leek. Thinly slice remainder of leek. Wash leeks well and pat dry. Cut snap peas in half crosswise on an angle if large. Wash then zest and juice the lemon. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes, reserving 1¼ cups water before draining.

  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring frequently until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add chard and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until it starts to wilt, about 2 minutes.

  4. Stir in snap peas and shrimp, season with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally until shrimp are almost all opaque and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate.

  5. Add lemon juice and ¼ cup pasta cooking water to the skillet. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then cook until reduced by about half, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream cheese, adding ¼-½ cup of pasta water to smooth out the sauce, then add lemon zest. Remove from heat.

  6. Drain pasta, then return it to its pot. Add sauce and toss to coat pasta. Toss in shrimp mixture, then season with salt and pepper. Add additional pasta water if needed to thin out sauce. Serve with some additional pepper on top if desired. Enjoy!