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Penne with Chard and Sausage

This is one of those great pasta dishes that tastes like you slaved over it for days but comes together in under 30 minutes. You can use other greens from your garden in place of the chard. Just make sure you cook them until they are tender.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. hot Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lb. Swiss chard, ribs removed and leaves cut into wide strips
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. penne
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for
      serving
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large, deep fry pan over medium-high heat, fry the sausage meat, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, until well browned and crusty, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl.

Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the onion and sauté until golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits from the pan bottom, then cook until the wine evaporates. Add the chard and cook, stirring, until it is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil over high heat and salt generously. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until about 1 minute shy of al dente, about 9 minutes or according to the package instructions.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and add the pasta to the fry pan along with the sausage. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until blended. Add 1/2 cup of the cooking water and stir until the pasta is nicely coated with the sauce, about 2 minutes. Stir in the 1/4 cup cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add a little more of the cooking water if needed to moisten the pasta.

Transfer the pasta to warmed shallow bowls and serve immediately. Pass additional cheese at the table. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Garden Cookbook, by Jeanne Kelley (Weldon Owen, 2013).