Chard and Cheese Pasta Gratin


In a desperate attempt to get this baby out we have been eating a lot of spicy food, but I decided to give our tummies a bit of a break and made something with some stodge

I am loathe to call this a pasta bake because that conjures up images of some vile dry crusted tuna and sweetcorn school dinner, so i am being fancy and calling it a pasta gratin, they are probably the same thing. It is definitely worth using breadcrumbs we always have a few ends of bread , that once popped in the food processor add crunch.

We have started to get chard in the vegebox again,  a robust green it is ideal for this dish as it doesn’t  wilt to nothing like  as spinach. A strong flavoured cheese works well and I did  add a few chunks of thick cut bacon as they were hanging around the fridge , but it could definitely be vegetarian , perhaps adding some roasted red peppers or in autumn squash.

Chard and Cheese Pasta Gratin

Serves 4

10 large leaves of chard greens and white stalks seperated
1 small onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
300g of dried pasta  I like
2 slices of thick cut bacon (optional)

Roux Sauce

400ml of semi skimmed milk
1 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of plain flour
2 tsp of wholegrain mustard
75 g of strong cheddar ( 2/3 for the sauce , 1/3 for topping)


1/3 of the cheese reserved from the sauce
3 handfuls of breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper to season

  1. Cook the pasta until al dente , it will cook more in the oven so you don’t want it overdone
  2. Remove the stalks from the green of the chard and slice everything very fine
  3. Fry with the white stalk pieces first with the garlic, onion and bacon if you are using until softened about 5 minutes  ,then add the green pieces. You can turn the heat off the green chard will wilt nicely
  4. Make a roux sauce, first melt the butter in a pan add the flour and cook for 30 seconds, slowly add the milk a little at a time stirring constantly to avoid lumps . Finally when all the milk has been added , add the cheese ( Note you need to save 1/3 of the cheese for the topping and mustard. The sauce sould not be too thick as some water will be absorbed by the pasta as it cooks in the oven and you do not want it to be too dry
  5. Preheat the oven to 180degC
  6. Mix the chard into the pasta and place in a ovenproof baking dish, pour over the roux sauce and top with the breadcrumbs, salt , pepper and cheese
  7. Place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes until the sauce is bubbling up through the golden breadcrumbs

Chard and Cheese Tart by you.



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