Spicy Sausage and Swiss Chard Pasta ♯

I was amazed to learn that chard contains at least 13 different antioxidants, including the cardioprotective flavonoid kaempferol, the blood-sugar-regulating flavonoid syringic acid, and the detoxifying agent betalain! It was then that I began to regard chard as a vegetable that I, having diabetic and hypertensive concerns, should be eating more of. Besides that, it is a tasty way to get my greens!

As in most of its appearances in fine dining, chard here is not the star, but it certainly plays a substantial supporting role in the quality of this outstanding one-dish meal. Sausage and chard recipes are not rare, especially to those of us who navigate the internet. But the one below is one I have cobbled together to fit my own tastes and which I like a lot. Also, it is relatively easy and quick to prepare.

With regard to serving, a decision has to be made: whether to plate the pasta and add the sausage-chard sauté over the top, or whether to add the pasta into the sauté pan, mix, and plate the integrated conglomeration. I’ve done it both ways, and both are good. I think I slightly prefer the latter.

  • 6 oz Andouille (or other) sausage, diced in ½” chunks
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced and smashed
  • 1 Roma tomato, skinned, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 bunch red Swiss chard, stems removed, chiffonade*
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 oz lower G. I. linguini or other pasta
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp nonfat half-and-half
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tsp Asiago cheese, grated

Cook the onion in the olive oil in a small (2 quart) sauté pan over medium heat until it begins to brown. Add the sausage, garlic, and tomato and continue to cook until the tomato has softened. Add the chard and water, put on a lid, bring up to a mild simmer, and let the chard steam until tender.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in unsalted water according to the package directions. Drain, add the olive oil and half-and-half, and mix until the pasta is well coated.

Plate the pasta and sauté pan contents per your selected preference, discussed earlier. Top each serving with a little fresh basil and about a teaspoon each of pine nuts and freshly grated Asiago cheese.

Serves 2.