Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sausage Pasta with White Beans and Chard

The best pasta dishes are the simplest pasta dishes. The sauce here is rich, silky, and buttery—and the key to that silkiness? The salted water that the pasta was cooked in. Add a little over a cup to the cooked ingredients and toss, toss, and toss again until it all comes together with a glossy, flavor-loaded coating on the noodles. A touch of butter adds just the right finish.

Note: I used papparadelle pasta noodles for this dish, but fettuccine or even large rigatoni would work well too.

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • 1 15.5-oz can cannellini or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 oz pappardelle (or other wide or large pasta)
  • 7-8 cups coarsely chopped chard leaves (from one bunch, thick stems removed)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Chopped Chard
  1. Heat a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
  2. Add the beans to the pot and cook until browned in spots, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage.
  3. Add the wine and simmer until some of the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Sausage Beginning to Cook

Browned Sausage

Beans Beginning to Cook
  1. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until not yet al dente, about 3 minutes less than package directions. Drain, reserving 1-1/2 cups pasta water.
  2. Add the pasta to the pot with the wine. Add the chard and 1 cup pasta water and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing often, until the chard is wilted, the pasta is al dente, and the sauce begins to thicken, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Gradually add 1/2 cup cheese, tossing until melted with no clumps and adding more pasta water to thin, as needed. Add the butter and toss to combine.
  4. Return the sausage and beans to the pot and stir to combine.
Cooked Noodles

Chard Beginning to Wilt

Cheese and Butter Blended In
Divide the pasta among 4 shallow bowls. Pass more Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table to grate on top.

Sausage Pasta with White Beans and Chard

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