keeping it simple

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

serves 3


  • 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


  1. Boil pasta, drain, return to pot and set aside.
  2. Rinse mustard greens and drain.
  3. Saute’ sausage in non-stick skillet for 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and onion and continue to cook until sausage is browned.
  4. Add mustard greens to skillet and cover.  Cook mixture, stirring occasionally, until greens are wilted (4-5 minutes).
  5. 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.
  6. Pour parmesan broth over cooked pasta.  Add sausage/mustard green mixture and stir well.
  7. Serve immediately with parmesan shaved over the top.



16 responses to “keeping it simple

  1. I love any pasta that features sausage. YUM.

    Glad you had a a relaxing weekend. I am currently in finals mode (one on Wed, next the Wed after) and I am already tired of sitting at my desk in front of my computer (and obviously distracted quite easily).

    I can’t wait to get back into my kitchen for something that actually could rightfully be called a “recipe”.

  2. That looks simple and delicious!

  3. Looks beautiful as usual Andrea. I love the addition of mustard greens.

  4. I love Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses! I’d never heard of Midlake, but I’m listening to their website right now and I like it!

  5. Hi Andrea! It’s Jess from Charlottesville! Me and my boyfriend finally started our own blog!! We would love for you and your fab readers to check it out!!

    Your recipe looks amazing!! We may have to copy you soon!!


  6. Hey Andrea!! It’s Jess from Charlottesville! I just wanted to let you and your lovely readers know that my boyfriend and I started a new blog! It’s basically our recipes and cool things we eat! A lot of it will be around Cville naturally!! 🙂

    Your recipe tonight looks amazing!! We may have to copy that one!!

  7. oooo I must try!

  8. Looks delicious, as always!

  9. I don’t normally like sausage, but that dish looks really fresh and tasty!

  10. I’m glad you had a relaxing weekend! The pasta looks superb. 🙂
    When my farmers market opened last month, the Everona booth was the first place I stopped. Their cheese is amazing!

  11. Isn’t it so nice to unwind? It sounds like you had a great weekend! I would love the Farmer’s Market! 🙂

    Your pasta dish looks so wonderful.

    Great photos!

  12. Nice recipe – thanks for posting.

    I must say I thought of you over the weekend while I was re-evaluating what I’ve been doing with my blog. While I loved your postings of daily eats, I also enjoy your recipe posts that tell a little story and have great visuals. This could really be a book.

  13. That looks so warm and comforting!
    and i love band of horses 🙂

  14. I made this the other night and it was delicious! I made a few provisions based on what I had available. I used a Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage, WW pasta, and didn’t quite have enough kale so I added some spinach as well. I wish I had had more kale but other than that, it was spectacular!

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