Fresh Swiss Chard growing in the winter…
But this year I have the regular Red Swiss Chard and it’s so beautiful.
It grows all winter and spring, and if kept in a semi shaded, cooler area, can last into the early summer.
I chop up the stems when they are young and tender. And I keep the older thicker stems for my soup stocks and broths.
In this recipe, I don’t use the stems, even though they are young and tender, since I chop the Swiss Chard.
Rigatoni with Swiss Chard and Sausage
1 (16 oz) box Rigatoni Pasta
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 (16 oz) Hot Sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)
4 tablespoons unsalted Butter
6 Garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch Swiss Chard, chopped (approximately 2 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 teaspoon fresh Lemon Zest (1 medium lemon)
Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon; set aside.
Add the butter to the Dutch oven and melt over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, 1 minute until fragrant.
Add the Swiss Chard and cook, stirring occasionally until wilted, approximately 3 – 4 minutes.
Sprinkle in the four and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
Add the milk to the Swiss Chard mixture and bring to a boil; then cook 1 minute.
Stir in the sausage, parmesan, lemon zest and a few grinds of pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes.
Add the pasta to the pot and toss, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to loosen.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.