Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pasta with Sausage, Swiss Chard & Pine Nuts

Pasta with Sausage, Swiss Chard & Pine Nuts
From Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

¾ cup raisins
1 lb/450g gemelli or other short pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
12oz/340g Italian Sausage, casing removed (Ruth's note: this dish would be great as a vegetarian version without the sausage)
1 lb/450g Swiss chard, tough stems removed, leaves washed, drained and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling)
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Bring a large Dutch oven full of water to the boil. Measure out 1 cup of water and pour over raisins in a small dish. Let soak for 15 minutes and drain.

2. While the raisins are soaking, add a generous amount of salt to the pot of boiling water and cook pasta until al dente (8-10 minutes). Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain pasta. Return pasta to pot.

3. In the meantime, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Cook sausage, breaking it up with a fork, until browned (about 5 minutes). Add Swiss chard and garlic. Sautee, tossing until the chard is wilted (3-4 minutes). Taste for seasoning.

4. Add sausage mixture, drained raisins, pine nuts and parmesan, plus ½ cup of pasta cooking water to the pot. Toss with the pasta and taste again for seasoning. This is where I added some red pepper flakes as a contrast to the sweetness of the raisins.

Sprinkle with more cheese and serve.

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