Tested and Perfected by Food and Wine

Penne with Spicy Sausage and Chard

  • SERVINGS: 4
  • FAST

Guests of Joanne Weir, a cooking teacher and the author of You Say Tomato (Broadway Books), are often treated to this homey pasta, because, as she says, "Everybody likes pasta."

Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips

  1. 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  2. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 3/4 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from the casing
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 pound Swiss chard, ribs discarded, leafy greens cut into 1-inch strips
  6. 3/4 pound penne or fusilli pasta
  7. 1/2 pound ricotta salata or mild feta, crumbled
  8. 1 tablespoon minced oregano
  9. 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  10. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan, boil the chicken stock over high heat until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 6 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, and sauté over moderately high heat until cooked through and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Transfer the sausage to a platter and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the chard, cover and cook, stirring, until tender, about 7 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Stir in the sausage, chard, ricotta salata, chicken stock, oregano and parsley and season with salt and pepper; toss well. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and serve.

Suggested Pairing

This savory Italian-inspired dish needs a tart, equally savory Italian-inspired red, such as a California Sangiovese, for contrast.