Help! How Can We Save This Pasta Dish?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We needed a quick, simple dinner last night, so we whipped up this pasta dish with ingredients we had around the kitchen and a bag of fresh chard from the farmers market. We’ll tell you right out: the resulting pasta was not so good. And now we’re stuck with the leftovers. Any ideas for transforming this pasta into a dish we might look forward to eating?

We were aiming for a version of our basic “pasta with meat, greens, and cheese” dish, and we can’t figure out where we went wrong. Here’s what went into the pot:

Bacon – three strips, cooked until the fat was rendered
Diced Onions – cooked until translucent
Chopped Baby Bella Mushrooms – cooked until golden and tender
Minced Garlic
Swiss Chard – wilted with the onions, mushrooms, and garlic
Whole Wheat Pasta – 1/2 pound, cooked and tossed with the veggies
Parmesan Cheese – about a third of a cup, sprinkled over everything
Fresh Black Pepper
Lemon Juice
Egg – just one, beaten and mixed into the pasta

The pasta smelled absolutely divine! We dug in with vigor and then…major bummer. The whole dish just tasted bitter and strangely chalky.

Our suspicion is that the whole wheat pasta was to blame. We’ve been experimenting with using it instead of regular pasta, but haven’t been very successful so far. The pasta is already rather bitter tasting, and we think it was just too much when combined with the chard.

We tried to brighten the dish first with salt and then lemon juice, both to no avail. The egg was added as a last resort to give the pasta some body and richness. Maybe we should have added two!

Short of picking out the pasta, our thoughts are to either make the leftovers into a frittata or add some diced tomatoes (or both). What ideas do you have?

(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)