Orecchiette with Italian Sausage & Swiss Chard

Everyone will be asking for seconds of this extremely satisfying dish.

1 pound orecchiette pasta
1 sweet onion, peeled and diced
1 bunch Swiss chard, removed from tough rib ends and then roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons freshly-chopped parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus an additional tablespoon for finishing
Grana-style cheese, grated
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Cook the orecchiette for 8-10 minutes in a pot of heavily salted water until al dente, or just cooked through with a bit of bite left. Reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water, then drain, and toss in olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, cook the Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until slightly browned, breaking the sausage apart with a wooden spoon or spatula. Remove the sausage to a plate and set aside.

3. Wipe any excess grease from the skillet with a paper towel, then drizzle in 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add in garlic and onions and sauté until all the both are tender and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the chopped Swiss chard and continue to sauté, stirring until chard is just wilted.

3. Add the pasta and sausage to the skillet and toss to combine with the veggies; season with salt and pepper as necessary. If the pasta seems a little dry, moisten with the reserved pasta water. Finish by sprinkling each serving with grated Grana-style cheese and a drizzle of sage-infused butter (see recipe).

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