Chard, cheese flavor whole wheat penne
No matter how unimpeachable whole-wheat pasta is in terms of nutritional cred, I’ve always found it off-putting.
Happily, several brands recently have developed very respectable lines of 100 percent whole-wheat pasta. If you haven’t lately, you might want to taste a few of them to decide which is your favorite, then try it in this one-dish meal.
WHOLE-WHEAT PENNE WITH SPRING GREENS AND SAUSAGE
If you have trouble finding Swiss chard, substitute spinach.
8 ounces whole-wheat penne
1 pound Swiss chard
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces chicken sausages, halved lengthwise, then sliced 1/2-inch-thick crosswise
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
15-ounce can (about 1 3/4 cups) chopped tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2 ounces grated Parmigiano cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for a few minutes less than the recommended time on the box.
Meanwhile, cut off and reserve the Swiss chard stems. Chop the Swiss chard leaves coarsely. Cut the stems into ﾽ-inch lengths.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the sausages and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausages to a bowl.
Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onion. Cook until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the Swiss chard stems to the skillet, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and add half the Swiss chard greens. Stir and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are slightly wilted. Add the remaining greens, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely wilted. Add the tomatoes, a hefty pinch of salt and the red pepper flakes, if using.
When the pasta is almost done but not quite al dente, drain it, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta and ﾾ cup of the cooking liquid to the skillet and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, adding more cooking liquid if necessary, until the pasta is al dente and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the sausages, then season with salt. Divide the mixture among 4 shallow bowls and top each portion with some of the cheese.
Serves 4; 380 calories each.
Nutrition information per serving: 380 calories; 110 calories from fat (29 percent of total calories); 12 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 55 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 19 g protein; 950 mg sodium.