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Sausage and Swiss Chard Pasta

I whipped up lunch with fresh produce from the farmers market and the result was amazing. —Kate Stiltner, Rockford, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces uncooked orecchiette or small tube pasta (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1/2 pound baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook sausage and red onion until no longer pink, 3-4 minutes, breaking into crumbles. Add fennel, mushrooms and garlic; cook until tender, 6-8 minutes. Add Swiss chard; cook and stir until wilted, 4-5 minutes longer.
  • Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water. In a large bowl, combine pasta, sausage mixture, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, adding enough reserved pasta water to coat pasta and create a creamy texture. Serve with remaining cheese and pine nuts.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Spicy Italian sausage also would complement the flavors in this dish.
  • The pasta absorbs the cooking liquid quickly, so serve immediately for the best texture.
  • Health tip: Lighten up this dish by using turkey Italian sausage, and add fiber with whole wheat orecchiette instead of white pasta.
    Nutrition Facts
    1-1/3 cups: 487 calories, 25g fat (6g saturated fat), 34mg cholesterol, 726mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 4g fiber), 19g protein.

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