Sometimes I feel like having pasta. This is one of those times. I like to use fusilli, it’s my pasta of choice for a dish like this. I’ve tried penne several times now and I find it’s just a little too much pasta per bite. Why do I say this? Remember that frozen pasta episode on Top Chef last year where one of the contestants was whining that he didn’t want to use fusilli because it was “boring” and everybody uses it. I was all hey I like fusilli. What? You don’t watch Top Chef? Well, I won’t be watching anymore either. The cable company finally caught on that I was getting more channels than I was actually paying for and they cut me off. Bummer. Actually it’s probably for the best – less time for me to be sitting around on my butt watching other people cook and more time for me to be doing other things like setting fire to the kitchen, I mean cooking.
Red Swiss Chard Pasta
Serves 2 to 4
1 bunch Red Swiss Chard
1/2 lb fusilli
2 veggie sausage, cut into 1/8 inch rounds
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Nutritional yeast for garnish
Wash the chard, cut off the stems and chop crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces, coarsely chop the leaves.
Heat the pot until hot, add 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and the veggie sausage, cook over medium heat covered so the oil doesn’t splatter all over until brown on both sides. Remove from pot and set aside. (I use a wok but you can use a heavy pot and cook everything in progression so it’s just a one pot mess to clean up).
Add 1 1/2 teaspoon oil to pot. Add chard stems and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add a little bit of water if it seems dry.
Add the chard leaves, water and red pepper flakes and turn down to low heat, covered for 5 minutes until the stems are tender. Drain and remove chard to a mixing bowl.
Cook the pasta in the same pot according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and add to the bowl with the chard.
Toss with 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or to taste. Add the veggie sausage and toss well. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast.