Mooooooom. Mom! What’s for dinner? I’m starving!!!!
How often do you hear your family asking you what’s for dinner and then tell you how incredibly hungry they are? (As if that will magically help dinner appear on the table right then.) You then realize the day has flown by and it’s now 6:00 pm and you have not even thought about what to make for dinner yet. Pasta is always an easy way out, but pasta with red sauce gets old after awhile, and so does garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and basil. You can only have those two dishes so many times a month.
I recently discovered a great new fast, easy, and extremely tasty and filling pasta recipe. I am forever trying to sneak veggies into our dinners to add extra nutrients, and this one is perfect. Swiss or rainbow chard will give you more vitamins and good things than kale, and it works great in this recipe. Throw in a few other staple ingredients and voila! you have a gourmet restaurant version of pasta you would pay $22 bucks for.
Having a vegan in the family I used Tofurky Chicken Apple Sausages, but if you want the real stuff, go for it. If you happen to have some other italian sausage or ground beef, these will do as well, but it’s the apple sausage that really compliments this dish so well.
The real key is using a cup of the hot water that you boiled the past in, so DO NOT DUMP YOUR PASTA WATER. Carefully scoop out about 1.5 cups of water before dumping your pasta and set it aside. Or spoon out your pasta into a colander, then you have saved all the water in the pot for the end.
Sorry, I didn’t have time to take photos of this process and dish, but I will the next time I make this. Then I will update this post with some pics for all of you!
Chicken Apple Sausage Orecchiette
- 1 pound orecchiette ( usually 1 bag/box)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 package of Tofurky Chicken Apple Sausages
- 2 med-large carrots
- 1 med-large gala or fuji apple
- 3 cloves minced garlic or 3 cubes frozen garlic paste
- squirt of lemon
- 1 bunch Rainbow Chard (or swiss chard)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons vegetarian chicken stock powder (or any other chicken or vegetable bullion)
- Nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, prepare your other ingredients. Cut the sausages in half then into about 1/3 inch pieces. Next wash carrots and slice in very thin circles. Dice apple into about 1/2 inch size bites. Wash and trim stems on chard, then roll leaves up and slice into about 1/2 in strips.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausages and cook about 3 -5 minutes. Add carrots and apples to skillet and saute until softened – about 3- 5 minutes more. Scoop out and place into serving bowl.
- Add a little more oil if needed and garlic, then toss in rainbow chard, add squirt of lemon juice; cook until wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl with sausages.
- Once pasta is done, drain water (reserving about 1.5 cups of water) and place pasta in bowl with other ingredients.
- Add bullion to the reserved hot pasta water, mix and let dissolve. Add 1 cup to start with to the serving bowl of pasta and other ingredients. You might need the extra half cup, but add only a little at a time. This will create a light sauce that coats pasta, but you don’t want it swimming in water.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan or nutritional yeast (vegan).