California Central Coast Recipes
Rotini with Swiss Chard and Fresh Sausage
Our recipe for Rotini with Swiss Chard and Sausage might sound ho-hum but it packs big flavor on a budget. Using just a little freshly made bulk Italian sausage that your butcher makes, sauteed with olive oil and garlic, with the addition of a few raisins, wine and low-cost Swiss chard and pasta, turns this into a flavorful dish that also satisfies.
Preparation time: 30 minutesCooking time: 20 minutes
1-1/2 pound Swiss Chard , washed, drained, stems removed and leaves cut into strips horizontally
2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
5 cloves Garlic , peeled and chopped
3/4 to 1 cup raisins , soaked in hot water for a few minutes to hydrate
1 cup White wine
Salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces Rotini pasta
Parmesan Cheese , grated for the top plus additional for the table
1 In a large stockpot over medium-high heat add in olive oil and heat. Add in bulk Italian sausage, breaking into little pieces with a fork and lightly brown to give off fat and juices ( 5-10 minutes.) When the sausage is lightly browned, if there's a lot of fat, drain off excess and discard fat, leaving just a bit for cooking and flavor.
2 Add in the garlic to the stockpot and mix thoroughly throughout the sausage. When garlic is fragrant, add in white wine and deglaze reducing wine by half.
3 Add in Swiss chard and salt and pepper and stir well to distribute evenly throughout the sausage mixture. Cover pot and let cook for 3-5 minutes until chard leaves are wilted and tender.
4 Remove the raisins from the soaking water and drain well. Add the raisins to the sausage-chard mixture and toss well.
5 In the meantime, in a separate pasta pot, bring water to boiling over high heat. Add in a tablespoon or so of salt, give a stir then add in pasta. Cook stir occasionally until al dente, or as directed on the pasta package.
6 When pasta is al dente, drain pasta but keep some water clinging to the pasta and add to the Swiss chard-Sausage mixture. Toss well. If using Parmesan cheese, add some to the pasta mixture and toss again. Correct seasonings.
7 Serve on dinner plates with additional Parmesan cheese available for the table.
Serve with a young red wine such as a Sangiovese or Chianti.