Monday, August 31, 2009

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti With Sausage & Chard

Found this recipe on RecipeZaar and changed it up a bit:

Whole-Wheat Penne With Sausage, Chard, and Artichoke Hearts

* coarse salt and black pepper
* 12 ounces whole wheat penne (I only had whole what spaghetti... pasta is pasta I figure)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil (I use my spray bottle so less than 2tbsp)
* 3/4 lb chicken sausage, removed from casing (1 1/2 spicy chicken sausages from the Italian Market)
* 1 (9 ounce) box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (I wish we had some...)
* 1 lb swiss chard, cleaned stems and leaves separated and chopped
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/3 cup sun-dried tomato, sliced
* 1 tablespoon tomato paste
* 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (about 2 ounces)
* 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaf (I used dried)
* 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil for pasta. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking sausage into pieces, until cooked through and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.

2. Add remaining oil, chard stems, artichoke hearts, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until chard stems soften slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chard leaves and cook, stirring, until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Add pasta to boiling water; cook until 2 minutes short of al dente. Add sun-dried tomatoes and cook 2 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain pasta; return to pot.

4. Pour half of reserved pasta water into a small bowl. Add tomato paste and whisk to combine. Add tomato paste mixture, sausage mixture, Parmesan, basil, and red pepper flakes to pasta in pot. Toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

For dessert..... Jason walked to Mac's and got me one of these....

... and a scratch ticket! I love love love oreo ice cream / cookies and cream but had never had one of these. It was VERY good. I didn't win anything on the scratch ticket though.

JASON'S REVIEW: Nothing so tasty has ever touched my lips before (I told him nobody takes these seriously anymore)

MY REVIEW: Although I followed the instructions very closely, the chard stems were still pretty hard. Other than that, it was good. Make sure to cut your sun dried tomatoes REALLY small because a huge hunk of that is pretty nasty/salty. Since I had to open a new can of tomato paste to snag a tablespoon, I put the rest of the can in the freezer. I wonder how that will work out?

I also took this evening to pre-cook some chicken and freeze it for camping on the weekend. Jason and I are both SUPER paranoid about chicken and usually spend about 2 hours burning our dinner over the fire before we feel comfortable eating it. I don't know why I never thought of this before! I cooked up some diced chicken breast so we could have chicken curry and also the rest of the chicken sausage for a vegetable stew. 

Don't be looking forward to a new post tomorrow as it is my $1500, 3 hour dentist appointment. I am not looking forward to that..... HOWEVER, if you like big fancy cakes, be sure to check back on Wednesday!

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