Oh my, what a weekend. With our deadline at the office behind us Brian and I were finally able to relax for Two. Whole. Days. We took advantage of the sunshine on Saturday with a trip to the farmer’s market and tasks in the garden, while Sunday’s rain allowed time for baking and reading to the mellow sounds of some favorite bands. We even entertained Friday night. As far as weekends go, this one was definitely good for our mental health, and much needed.
Our kitchen finally feels loved again, as do our stomachs. Simplicity was key to most of what was prepared and consumed because we were still in recovery from the weeks of late nights and take-out food (sadly, crockpot minestrone only lasted for a couple of days). After that long of a hiatus one really doesn’t want to rush into anything too complicated too quickly, and we were in need of some instant gratification.
So many good, simple recipes came from the grill, oven and food processor that I had a hard time deciding which to share first. Ultimately I decided on this one because it was the most recent of my options and looking at the photographs caused my mouth to salivate at the memory they evoked. Also, I love that the simple pasta dish uses fresh ingredients purchased at the farmer’s market Saturday morning – sweet Italian sausage from one favorite farmer and tender mustard greens from another. If only I’d stopped by the Everona Dairy booth I’d have had local sheep’s milk cheese to use instead of store-bought parmesan. Next week…
Spring greens are abundant right now and any variety would do, but I think that the spicy bite of the mustard greens really makes this dish shine. If you decide to use a milder green such as kale or swiss chard, you might want to kick up the flavor with hot Italian sausage instead of sweet, or some red pepper flakes tossed in the skillet with the onion and garlic.
Pasta with Sausage and Spring Greens
- 3/4 lb brown rice pasta
- 1 bunch mustard greens (about 1 lb), leaves separated from stems and rinsed well (stems discarded)
- 1 lb sweet italian sausage, removed from casing and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan, plus extra for topping
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- salt + pepper
- Boil pasta, drain, return to pot and set aside.
- Rinse mustard greens and drain.
- Saute’ sausage in non-stick skillet for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and onion and continue to cook until sausage is browned.
- Add mustard greens to skillet and cover. Cook mixture, stirring occasionally, until greens are wilted (4-5 minutes).
- Meanwhile, heat chicken broth over medium heat in small saucepan. Whisk in 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. Add fresh parsley and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour parmesan broth over cooked pasta. Add sausage/mustard green mixture and stir well.
- Serve immediately with parmesan shaved over the top.