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Italian Spiced Pork & Swiss Chard Pasta

A spin on a classic Italian bolognese-style pasta made with ground pork, tomatoes, chilli and swiss chard and stirred through my favourite anti-inflammatory quinoa pasta. You could use beef, turkey, or chicken; make it plant-based using tempeh; you can swap the greens for what you have and love, fresh or frozen.


Pasture-raised = conscious cooking. I live in Portland, Maine, surrounded by fabulous small farms producing thoughtfully raised meats and produce. I used heritage ground pork from Patch Farm in Denmark, Maine, a family-owned organic farm that uses bio-dynamic practices. 


Farmers BrennaMae & Brandon are true visionaries deeply dedicated to sustainable farming practices, pushing the boundaries of what one can grow in Maine + creating food security within their community. They have a CSA + a farm stand and attend local and regional markets weekly ~ seek them out if you can; their food is vibrant!

  • Serves4
  • Cooks in 30 mins
  • Prep time 15 mins
  • Grounding

    Spices, herbs and foods that are grounding, warming and calming with earthy rich tones and flavours.  These foods help the body relax are generally rich in anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial nutrients.

  • Prep in Advance
  • High Fibre

    High fibre foods are an important part of a healthy digestive system. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are high in fibre.

  • Mineral Rich

    Ingredients are naturally rich in essential minerals. Salty taste in botanicals like parsley, nettles, seaweeds indicates the plants have a high mineral content.

  • Protein

    Recipes with protein-rich ingredients.  Examples of high protein foods include; eggs, meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy, quinoa, teff, millet, wild rice, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, wheat, nuts, seeds, hemp seeds, peas, beans, lentils, legumes, soy, tofu & tempeh, broccoli, brussels, spinach, kale, mushrooms, nutritional yeast.


adds to shopping list

  • 2 tsp oil | water
  • 1 onion – diced small
  • 3 garlic cloves – diced small
  • ½ cup parsley - fine chop
  • 1 lb | 454g pork* - ground & local
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 large can | 3 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water - rinse out tomato can
  • 2 - 3 tsp Italian dried herbs | oregano
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp salt | dulse + pepper
  • 8 oz | 227g Pasta*
  • 6 cups swiss chard - stems + leaves
  • Parsley to garnish



Italian Spiced Pork & Chard Pasta Bowls


HEAT a stainless saucepan on medium heat


ADD oil | water + onion, garlic, parsley + chilli flakes sauté for 3 mins stirring occasionally until onion softens.


ADD ground pork, and saute on high heat for 5-7 mins or until nice and browned – stirring every minute or so.


ADD tomato paste; cook for 1 min stirring.


ADD tomatoes + salt | dulse + dried herbs + water – rinse can or jar.


LID ON low simmer for 20 mins – stir occasionally.


PASTA – bring a medium to large pan of water to a  rolling boil, add 1 tsp salt. COOK pasta according to packet instructions – taste to check when it is cooked to your liking.  The quinoa pasta I like takes a good 15 minutes to cook.   Drain cooked pasta.


ADD freshly cracker pepper. Taste spice and salt level, adjust to your taste.  Turn off the heat.


STIR in swiss chard.  Put the lid back on and let rest for 5 mins.  The residual heat will cook the swiss chard lightly.


FOLD cooked pasta into the sauce.


SERVE in bowls garnished with fresh parsley.


Serving Ideas
with a local hard mature cheese, pecorino or parmesan – freshly grated.
Radish & Curly Kale Salad
Rainbow Root Vegetable Salad
Watermelon Radish & Celery Root Salad
Cabbage Salad
Rainbow Root Vegetable Salad
Kohlrabi, Cabbage & Flat Green Bean Slaw Salad

Chef Hat Icon Chef tips + Ingredient Swaps + Ideas

SWAP PORK – use sausage or ground chicken, turkey or beef – from your local farmer; pasture-raised = conscious cooking.


PLANT-BASED use either lentils, beans, peas, crumbled tempeh or tofu.


PASTA – I like quinoa pasta as it is anti-inflammatory and has “more nutritional bang for my bite”  – you use what you like.


SWAP SWISS CHARD use kale, spinach, collards – cooking times will vary.


SWAP chilli flakes my go to’s; cayenne, red pepper, chipotle, Urfa, Marash, Aleppo.


ADD | SWAP vegetables like diced carrot, peppers, zucchini, frozen peas, mushrooms, leeks, celery


MAKE-AHEAD this is almost better the next day as the flavours deepen.


FREEZES well, so make a double batch and freeze in portions

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