Orecchiette Pasta with Rainbow Swiss Chard and Sausage

Swiss Chard 22

Lately, I’ve been on a real greens kick. Which is a good alternative for all the other kinds of kicks I usually fall victim to…cookie-kicks, Breaking Amish kicks, Taco Bell kicks, etc.

But the real reason I’ve been on this fantastic greens kick is simply because I can’t help, but fall in love with all the beautiful produce of the season! This week, rainbow Swiss chard fell on my radar.

Rainbow Swiss chard is one of those vegetables that you look at, and think “Oh this is too beautiful to eat…”.

Swiss Chard 1

See what I mean?

Aside from being beautiful, it’s also quite tasty (oh, it’s also healthy for you too…boring).

I cooked my lovely rainbow greens in a pasta dish that could be described as “deceptively light”. Pasta with sausage seems like a rather heavy dish, but with the Swiss chard, red chili flakes and lemon juice, this pasta is de”light”ful!

Ingredients:

  • 1 16oz. bag of orecchiette pasta
  • 4-5 stalks of rainbow swiss chard
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 5 Italian pork sausages (remove from casing)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup (or slightly less) chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup water from pasta
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup shredded Peco Romano Cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

When I first bought Swiss Chard, I made the unfortunate mistake of roughly chopping it up (stems and all) and throwing it into a pot of soup. I ended with Swiss Chard bits that had wilty leaves and fibrous stems. A combination that left something to be desired. I’m going to show you how to quickly prepare your Swiss Chard, minus fibrous bits. Listen carefully kids…

Wash and dry the stalks of your rainbow swiss chard.

Remove about 2-3 inches of the base of the stalk and discard.

Remove the stalks of the swiss chard by simply folding the leaf in half, and sliding your knife down the stalk. Have the point of your knife cut along the line of the main stem.

Swiss Chard 2

Swiss Chard 3

Ta Dah!

Ta Dah!

Fold your swiss chard leaves in half, and give it a rough chop.

Swiss Chard 4

If you are using your stalk, chop up these guys too. Some people don’t use this part, but I feel that as long as you aren’t using the hearty ends, these are equally tasty.

Swiss Chard 5

You may need to shoo away some kitchen helpers who think they know how to do it better…

Swiss Chard 6

Take your yellow onion and dice up half.

Swiss Chard 8

Fill a medium-large sized pot with water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add salt and pasta. Cook pasta according to directions on package. (I failed to take a picture of this part because I’m a space cadet and forgot that I should include this! My apologies.)

Orecchiette means "little ears" which is almost too cute to eat. Yeah...we're still going to eat it though.

Orecchiette means “little ears” which is almost too cute to eat. Yeah…we’re still going to eat it though.

Over medium heat, break up your sausage into pieces and brown.

Swiss Chard 9

Once your sausage has been cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

If this picture could talk, it would say,"I don't blame you for wanting me..."

If this picture could talk, it would say,”I don’t blame you for wanting me…”

In the same pan, add your butter, onions, and garlic. Allow onions to cook until slightly translucent.

Swiss Chard 11

At this point, slowly add your chicken stock to deglaze the pan and bring up all the flavorful bits at the bottom.

 

It looks like I'm violently mixing these onions! Less violence and fast paced kitchen maneuvers actually occurred.

It looks like I’m violently mixing these onions! Less violence and fast paced kitchen maneuvers actually occurred.

Add your chopped swiss chard and allow to slightly wilt. In addition, add the juice from your lemon.

Swiss Chard 16

This is what your rainbow Swiss chard will look like once it’s cooked down…

This is what the rainbow Swiss chard will look like cooked down

Add your cooked sausage and about 1/3 cup of the pasta water to pan, and cook for 1-2 minutes.

 

Swiss Chard 19

Drain your cooked pasta, and add to swiss chard mixture.

Sprinkle some pecorino romano cheese and crushed red chili flakes on top and dig in!

Swiss Chard 21

This pasta is best eaten immediately! The pecorino romano cheese melts heavenly over the wilted Swiss chard and warm pasta that picks up tiny pools of sausage and crushed red chili flakes. I devoured this with a healthy pour of sauvignon blanc because I figured since I already was on a greens kick, a green grape beverage was also necessary.

-L

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Orecchiette Pasta with Rainbow Swiss Chard and Sausage

  1. Haha, does your kitchen helper like chard? I would have thought he would be more into the sausage.

    I think the best way to eat more veges is to make sure there are plenty of good quality, seasonal vege in the house. Sometimes they’re so pretty, you just want to gobble them up 🙂

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