The Grill’s Out of Gas, So It’s Pasta Night

18 Sep

This dish goes nicely with a glass of red wine, natch!

After we’d been grilling all summer, and even had a tank in backup, we ran out of propane for the grill. I was in a panic—what the heck was I going to cook for dinner?? For crying out loud, I’d even been putting pizza on the grill!

I finally pulled myself together. I mean, it’s like I’d never used the oven or stovetop before. Geez. The Husband can’t eat fish at the moment (not allowed by the acupuncturist for some reason) and we’d had chicken the night before, so I decided on some pappardelle that I knew we had in the cupboard. I wandered around the Gelson’s produce department, thinking about what would go with the Italian sausage or prosciutto that we had in the fridge. I settled on some beautiful, organic Swiss chard and a lovely red jalapeño, plus some nice pecorino Romano cheese from the deli.

Vegetarians/vegans, I would recommend the Field Roast Grain Sausages to substitute in this dish. It’s a nice and quick weekday dinner!

SAUSAGE AND SWISS CHARD PAPPARDELLE

1 bunch of Swiss chard (I used the red, any type would work)
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 Fra’mani Italian pork sausages (or Italian style from Field Roast)
1/3 cup olive oil
A handful of cherry tomatoes
1 red jalapeño (can be omitted, it really didn’t make it spicy)
1/3 cup white wine
Grated pecorino cheese (How much? How much do you want?)
4 oz. pappardelle (we used the Trader Joe’s kind—vegans beware, it’s egg pasta)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Make the sauce while the water’s boiling and the pasta’s cooking. First, clean and prepare the Swiss chard by washing it and cutting the green leafy part off the thick stems. You could chop up the stems and add with the sausage later, and it would be very tasty, but I was just a bit lazy that night.

Slice the sausage thickly, then cut into quarters. Heat the olive oil on medium-high in a large frying pan and add the sausage. The idea here is to get it crispy—these sausages are pre-cooked so they’re going to keep their shape. Once they’re nice and crisp on the edges, throw in the garlic and chili; stir. You want to get the garlic a little brown to get that special flavor, but don’t burn it, so watch the temperature. Once they’re nice and brown, add the cherry tomatoes and chard. Sauté until the chard is wilted and the cherry tomatoes are about to burst. Help them out a bit by squishing them with the back of your stirring spoon.

Now’s the time to add the white wine—I say 1/3 of a cup, but I just pour some in from the bottle—and scrape up all the nice brown stuff from the bottom of the pan. Hopefully right about now you’ve got about 3 minutes left on the timer for the pappardelle, as you want the white wine to cook with the rest of the ingredients before serving.

Drain the pasta and put half into two wide bowls. Add the sauce on top, adding a little extra splash of olive oil if it’s looking a little dry. Serve with a big helping of the pecorino, letting it melt just a bit before eating. Yeah, that’s right—you’re welcome.

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