This recipe started with an early morning trip to Whole Foods. I was heading to the mall, but it didn't open until 10, and it was only 9:15. I decided to pop in and see what caught my eye to prepare for dinner that night. It was just going to be me and Joey, so I was thinking grilled cheese and soup, but then the Rainbow Swiss Chard caught my eye. The Chard had dark green leaves and the stalks were a rainbow of yellow, purple, pink, white and red. It looked something like this:
I grabbed two bunches. Then I saw some beautiful, local chicken sausage, and knew right away what to make. This is my adapted version of the classic Italian dish Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage. It is just as good as the original. As a matter of fact, it is hard to tell the difference. Broccoli Rabe has more bite, but the Swiss Chard works wonderfully in this dish.
½ # sweet Italian sausage (pork or chicken)
½ # hot Italian sausage (pork or chicken)
¼ c. olive olive oil (I use garlic infused olive oil)
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 c. red wine
4 oz. tomato paste
coarse salt and fresh pepper
1 # dried orechiette
2 bunches Swiss Chard, leafy part only (discard woody stem), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 c. Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
In a medium saute pan, over medium heat, brown the sausage 5-7 minutes, or until just cooked through. Set aside.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the sausage and garlic, and saute for 3 minutes or until the garlic just begins to turn golden. Add tomatoes and the juice, red wine, tomato paste, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Let mixture simmer over low heat while you prepare the pasta and Swiss Chard.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (leave enough room in the pot for the pasta and Swiss Chard). Cook the pasta for 5 minutes. Add the Swiss Chard and cook 4 more minutes until the pasta is al dente. Drain in a large colander, then add the pasta mixture to the sauce. Stir in 1 c. Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with extra Parmesan on the side.