Fusilli with Spicy Sausage and Swiss Chard

Fusilli with Spicy Sausage and Swiss Chard

Fusilli might win the award for “most fun noodle shape”.

Those little spirals make you feel like a kid again, playfully eating silly noodle shapes (perhaps with a neon orange cheesy sauce?? ūüėČ ).

Fusilli sometimes gets a bad rap as the quintessential “pasta salad noodle”, but I think it works wonders in warm dishes.

Unlike dishes with straight noodles like penne, all the little crevices in the fusilli trap the herbs, cheeses, sauces, and seasonings, basically guaranteeing huge flavor in every bite.

IEasy Weeknight Fusilli with Sausage and Chard

I know I’ve been on a pasta kick lately, but this impromptu meal was too good not to share.

It’s a huge pot of noodles tossed with spicy sausage, fresh herbs, feta cheese, and swiss chard.

Fusilli with Sausage and Swiss Chard - an easy family favorite!

This is a great way to sneak some extra leafy greens into your week.

I’ve been eating a lot more chard and kale ever since I signed up for an Imperfect Produce delivery box!

There’s nothing more motivating than the arrival of several giant bunches of greens at your doorstep. You’ve gotta get cooking with them before they start to wilt!

Warm Pasta with Tangy Feta Cheese, Spicy Sausage, and Tender Swiss Chard

And it doesn’t get much easier than adding some greens to your pasta.

Simply wash well, roughly chop the leaves, and cook just enough to wilt (but stay vibrant green). Toss with the pasta, cheeses, and herbs, and you’re done!

PS if you’re gluten free, this dish would work well with quinoa or corn pasta, and you can totally swap out the pasta shape for any other fun, sauce-grabbing noodle like farfalle, shells, or radiatori.

Fusilli Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage, Feta Cheese, and Swiss Chard

 

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Fusilli with Spicy Sausage and Swiss Chard

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 16 to 19 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large bunches Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 pound dried fusilli pasta
  • 12 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook, using a spatula to break it up into small pieces. Continue cooking until the sausage is well browned, about 15 minutes. 
  • Add the minced garlic to the sausage and let cook for 1 minute or so, until fragrant. Then remove the sausage and garlic to a plate and set it aside for later.
  • Return the skillet to the stove top. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and all of the beef broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil and let cook for 1 minute to reduce slightly. Add the chard and cook, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the chard is tender. 
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fusilli and cook according to package directions, about 10 minutes. When the pasta is tender, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.
  • Add the drained fusilli to the skillet that has the Swiss chard. Add the sausage back to the skillet as well and toss to combine. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water if the pasta seems dry. Sprinkle the pasta with the feta cheese and fresh herbs. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and drizzle with another two tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to combine, then serve.
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Pasta all’Amatriciana with Pancetta

Pasta all’Amatriciana is a classic Roman dish, featuring a robust, slightly spicy tomato sauce with cured pork jowl, known as¬†guanciale (pronounced gwan-chee-all-eh).

I honestly accidentally ordered this item at a restaurant in Rome..

I was debating between the pasta all’Amatriciana and the eggplant parmesan, and had fully decided on the eggplant parm.

But when the waiter came to take my order… all’Amatriciana popped out of my mouth!!

Oops!

But OMG, what a happy mistake it was.

The rigatoni came out piping hot, thickly coated in a spicy silky tomato sauce with nice chunky pieces of golden guanciale.

Basically, it was instantly my new favorite pasta.

And so simple, too!

A true testament to keeping things basic and letting the ingredients shine.

PS- If you’re ever in Rome, the restaurant I’m talking about is¬†La Tavernaccia in the Trastavere region. It’s a little out of the way, but so so so worth it.

We also ordered the roasted suckling pig & the lardo & honey bruschetta, and were blown away by all of it!

And how adorable is it that they hand-write their menus each day ūüôā Thankfully, they spoke English & even had a hand written¬†English version of the menu.

Plus, it’s nice to know you’re supporting a family run restaurant, rather than one of a million lackluster tourist traps.

So, here we are, nearly 9 months later, and I’ve just now gotten around to recreating that magical dish.

But this time, I went with bucatini, rather than rigatoni, because I wanted those twirlable, twistable noodles that are so fun to eat.

And of course, none of the stores near me sell guanciale (boooo), so I swapped in pancetta instead.

Honestly, it was still just as delicious!

All’Amatriciana is super simple to make.

It’s just pancetta, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, white wine, and tomatoes, topped with high quality grated romano cheese.

And please, don’t buy crappy cheap tomatoes for this dish. It won’t turn out well.

I used Cento brand crushed tomatoes, which I love, because they are not watery at all, which = tons of flavor in every bite and a wonderfully thick sauce.

This pasta is a loving act of patience for such a simple dish, but it still comes together in about an hour from start to finish.

So worth it!

Serve with Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas and get ready for a FABULOUS meal.

 

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Pasta all'Amatriciana with Pancetta

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small bottle chardonnay (187 mL)
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably Cento brand)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound dried bucatini pasta
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese, for serving
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley, for serving

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil to a large nonstick saute pan, and warm over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes, until golden brown all over. 
  • Turn off the heat, and use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta from the pan and onto a plate to cool and crisp. 
  • Keep the drippings in the pan, and warm over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, for another 6 minutes or so, until the onions are tender and just starting to turn golden. If the garlic seems to be cooking too fast or on the verge of burning, turn down the heat as needed. 
  • When the onions are done, add the chardonnay and cook for two minutes to let some of the wine cook off. 
  • Add the pancetta and any accumulated juice back to the pan. Stir to combine with the wine and onion mixture. 
  • Next, add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent burning or sticking. 
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When there's about 10 minutes left on the pasta sauce, add the bucatini to the large pot of boiling water and cook according to package directions until just al dente, about 9 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water before draining, then drain the pasta. 
  • Add the pasta to to pan with the tomato sauce, and toss to coat. Add 1/2 cup of the cooking water to thin the sauce a bit, and continue to toss the pasta to coat. Increase the heat to medium, and cook for a few more minutes, tossing the noodles in the sause, letting it thicken and nicely coat each noodle. 
  • Once the sauce is thick and evenly coating the pasta, turn off the heat and serve the pasta into bowls. Top generously with grated Romano cheese, freshly cracked salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. 
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Creamy Kale and Potato Soup

Creamy Kale and Potato Soup-7

This week’s Imperfect Produce delivery (which I’m obsessed with, by the way) included¬†some lovely curly kale, creamy yellow potatoes, and small yellow onions.

Duh, the first thing that popped into my mind was creamy kale and potato soup!

Creamy Kale and Potato Soup-10

I mean, you can’t really go wrong with tender green kale, creamy potatoes, Italian sausage, and crumbly bacon bits.

This soup is awesome because it uses relatively simple ingredients and doesn’t require a lot of effort.

But it feeds a crowd & everyone loves it.

All you have to do is chop up some bacon, onion, garlic, and kale, and the rest is simply cooking everything in one pot.

Easy peasy.

Creamy Kale and Potato Soup-12

I totally recommend serving this with some Herbed Garlic Bread on the side for soaking up that luscious broth.

Creamy Kale & Potato Soup

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 19 oz uncooked mild or spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 heaping cups diced yellow potatoes (unpeeled)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups (very tightly packed) roughly chopped curly kale leaves (stems removed)
  • 1.5 cups half and half

Instructions

  • Add the diced bacon to a large enameled cast iron dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat until nice and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and let cool on a paper-towel lined plate.
  • Next, add the uncooked Italian sausage to the dutch oven. Use a spatula to break up the meat, and let it cook until well browned and broken up into small pieces, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage to a bowl, and set aside for later.
  • Add the diced onion to the dutch oven, and let cook in the bacon/sausage fat until softened and just lightly golden, about 8 minutes. 
  • Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano to the dutch oven and let cook for a minute or so until fragrant. 
  • Add the potatoes to the dutch oven and toss to combine with the onions and spices. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer & let cook for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. 
  • Once the potatoes are tender, stir the kale into the soup along with the reserved sausage. Let cook for just a few minutes, until the kale is tender. 
  • Add the half and half to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  • Turn off the heat and ladle the soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the crispy bacon bits and season each bowl with a sprinkle of salt & freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!

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