Vegan Ramen Soup With Tofu

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Plated Ramen soupIMG_2211

The teenagers in our family are obsessed with ramen soup. We think part of the attraction has to do with how easy it is to make—that is, the instant kind—particularly for the ones who are in college and want a meal on the go! Add hot water and your soup is ready. Of course the packaged version is filled with salt and lots of preservatives with names we’ve never even heard of before– precisely why we set out to make our own healthy version. Ours is vegan—we wanted to satisfy everyone in our family including the vegetarians!

Most ramen recipes are made with pork or chicken broth. Instead, we use vegetable broth along with dried mushrooms, miso paste, and tamari sauce which gives this soup that savory umami flavor. Filled with tons of vegetables—baby bok choy, carrots, mushrooms, baby spinach, and scallions—and bite-size pieces of tofu along with those delicious ramen noodles makes this soup so flavorful and satisfying.

Separated scallions Ramen soupIMG_2193Separate the green and white parts of the scallions.

Cooked tofu Ramen soupIMG_2178We roast the tofu on parchment paper for 20 minutes.

Soup cooking goodWe add all the vegetables and then simmer for 15 minutes.

Ramen noodles for Ramen soupIMG_2188The ramen noodles are cooked separately, then divided into bowls, and topped with the broth, vegetables, and green scallions.

Vegan Ramen Soup With Tofu
4 to 6 servings

One 12-to 14- ounce package extra firm organic tofu, patted dry and cut into 3/4 – 1-inch cubes
10 ounces ramen noodles
2 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons organic sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped Spanish onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, drained, then roughly chopped
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (green and white parts separated)
3 carrots, cut into slices on the diagonal
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound baby bok choy, trimmed, leaves separated
2 ounces baby spinach
Sriracha sauce (optional)

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Arrange the tofu in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside.

Wisk together the miso paste and tamari sauce and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the olive and sesame oils over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of vegetable broth and stir for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, white scallion slices, and carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 5 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, the miso and tamari mixture, and stir to incorporate.

Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add the bok choy, spinach, and tofu and simmer for 15 minutes.

Divide the noodles into individual serving bowls, top with the soup and vegetables and garnish with the green scallion slices. Pass the sriracha separately.

Second finished ramen platedIMG_2212

 

Crispy Roast Potato and Brussels Sprouts

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Finished Bruss

It seems that we’ve all rediscovered Brussels sprouts these days. A vegetable that was often shunned when we were kids (okay, they were usually served boiled) turns out to be a favorite when roasted. This tasty roasting combo of Brussels sprouts and potatoes is a snap to make and we find that they go great along side any main course.

Brussels in colander copy

Brussel and Potato on pan betterWe spread the potato and Brussels sprout mixture  on a rimmed baking sheet.

Crispy Roast Potato and Brussels Sprouts Hash
4 servings

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered (or halved if small)
1 pound small potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus 3 or 4 sprigs
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, potatoes, oil, parsley, garlic, the chopped thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Mix well until the Brussels sprouts and potatoes are evenly coated.

Arrange the Brussels sprouts and potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, scatter the thyme sprigs on top, and roast for 25 minutes. Flip them with a spatula and roast for another 20 minutes—the potatoes should be golden and the Brussels sprouts slightly charred. Remove the thyme sprigs, season with additional salt and pepper and serve.

CLose up Brussels and Potatoes crop

Mushroom Seitan Stroganoff

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seiten plated

We have a lot of vegetarians in our family and there is nothing like a hearty, satisfying, and meaty tasting dish without the meat!

Stroganoff is classically known as a beef dish, but we decided to replace the beef and use seitan instead. For centuries Asian countries have used seitan as a vegetarian meat substitute. It has a savory flavor that makes it the perfect addition for all types of dishes, and it has a wonderful chewy texture. Since we wanted this dish to be vegan, we left out the typical ingredients found in stroganoff — sour cream and butter. We added arrowroot powder, which gave the sauce a thick and creamy consistency. And to achieve that deep rich, meaty flavor that our vegetarians so often crave, we added a variety of mushrooms—dried porcini, portabella, and shitake. We were pleased with the results!

We serve this dish with rice, although grains such as quinoa or noodles would be delicious too.

DOuble mushroom

The variety of mushrooms gives this dish a “meaty” flavor.

seitan mushrooms and peppers

Mushroom Seitan Stroganoff
4 servings

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
3 cups sliced shitake mushrooms
2 cups sliced portabella mushrooms, 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Two 8-ounce containers cubed seitan
1 cup sliced red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips, 1/4 inch wide
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes and then drain. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When shimmering, add the onions and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until caramelized. Turn the heat to medium, and add all the mushrooms, including the dried porcini, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned.

Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Add the vegetable broth and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the seitan, red pepper, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and simmer for another 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the seitan to absorb the flavors.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the arrowroot powder with 1 tablespoon of water and mix thoroughly until dissolved. Slowly add the mixture to the seitan and vegetables and stir to combine. Cook an additional 5 minutes until thickened. Serve hot.

seiten plated copy close up

Teriyaki Tempeh with Broccolini and Carrots

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tempeh stirfry

Super healthy, super quick to get on the table, and super delicious—three great reasons to try our Teriyaki Tempeh with Broccolini and Carrots. Tempeh is a wonderful substitute for meat because it has a firm, dense texture and a wonderful, slightly nutty flavor. And tempeh is so good for you with loads of protein, fiber, and B vitamins, plus all the health benefits of being a fermented food. Our Teriyaki Tempeh is a great weeknight dinner that everyone will love.

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tempeh cropSear the tempeh.

veg no sauceAdd the steamed vegetables.

Terrific Teriyaki                                                 Photo John Kernick
Make our teriyaki sauce or use your favorite store-bought.

Teriyaki Tempeh with Broccolini and Carrots
4 servings

1 cup rice or quinoa
2 bunches broccolini, ends trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise
2 carrots, sliced diagonally in 1/2-inch thick slices
1 tablespoon peanut, grapeseed, or extra virgin olive oil
Two 8-ounce packages plain tempeh, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup Terrific Teriyaki Sauce*, or more to taste (see recipe below), or your favorite store-bought

Cook the rice or quinoa according to the directions on the package and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan steam the broccolini and carrots until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain them in a colander and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Place the tempeh cubes in the pan and cook undisturbed until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip (we like using tongs for this) and cook on the other side, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Add the steamed vegetables to the skillet and, using a wooden spoon, gently mix with the tempeh cubes. Add three tablespoons of the teriyaki sauce and stir well to coat. Add additional teriyaki sauce as desired. Continue to cook and stir until hot, 3 to 4 minutes.

Put 1/2 cup of the cooked grains in the bottom of each of 4 serving bowls. Top each bowl with tempeh and vegetables and serve hot.

*Terrific Teriyaki Sauce
makes 3/4 cup
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil

 If using sesame seeds, cook them in a small dry skillet over medium heat. Shaking the pan occasionally, until they begin to darken and give off a toasty aroma, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of warm water. Set aside.

In a small saucepan combine the soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and 1/3 cup of water. Place over medium-high heat and stir occasionally until it comes to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the dissolved cornstarch. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the sesame oil and the sesame seeds (if desired).

close up tempeh

Tofu Scramble

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IMG_0258

This tofu scramble is our new go to recipe. It is delicious for breakfast or brunch, but we have loved this for dinner because it is so quick and easy to whip up. Here we prepare the scramble with spinach and onions, but it is equally delicious with mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, cheese, and avocado. Basically you can use your favorite omelet combination. The nutritional yeast we use in the seasoning mix adds that “meaty” umami taste that makes this a very satisfying vegetarian dish. The yeast also has enormous health benefits. It is a complete protein, providing all 18 amino acids and contains B complex vitamins. It’s also very low in sodium. The vegetarians (and vegans) in your life will love this dish, but we have found that it also satisfies meat eaters as well.

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Tofu Scramble
4 to 6 servings

For the Spice Mix
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water

For the Tofu Scramble
Two 14-ounce packages extra firm organic tofu
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups roughly chopped spinach

Place the tofu in a single layer on a clean dishtowel on either a plate or cutting board. Cover with another clean dishtowel. Place a plate or another cutting board on top, and rest a weight, such as a small skillet, on top. This will press the excess liquid from the tofu. Let the tofu drain for at least 10 minutes. Crumble the tofu with clean hands and set aside.

In a small bowl add the nutritional yeast, turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, cayenne pepper, and cumin, and stir. Pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water and stir to combine.

Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion, and the garlic, and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the crumbled tofu. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until the tofu is hot and cooked through. Add the spice mix, stir, and cook for an additional minute. Reduce the heat to medium, add the spinach, and stir until the spinach is soft and cooked through. Season with additional salt and pepper as desired.

We love to serve this scramble with warm tortillas. Include guacamole, hot sauce and refried beans and it becomes a delicious Mexican night.

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Mango, Avocado, Tomato, and Arugula Salad

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Mango avo finished

During the hot summer months we love fruit focused salads served on a bed of greens. Our Tomato, Peach, and Avocado Salad with Ricotta Salata was such a hit with our families that we decided to create a yummy variation on that theme– this time adding some greens, switching out the peach for mango, and adding the sweet, soft, buttery crunch of Marcona almonds. This salad gets thumbs up all around.

 

mise         Mise en Place

Oil stream copyWhisking the dressing

Mango Avo double photoFresh from the market

 Mango, Avocado, Tomato and Arugula Salad

4 servings

For the Dressing
1 teaspoon chopped shallot
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad
2 bunches arugula
2 tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 ripe mango, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 avocado, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup roasted Marcona almonds, (or any blanched and roasted almonds)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar glaze or Saba
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

For the Dressing
In a small mixing bowl whisk together the shallot and vinegar. Slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream, whisking until completely emulsified. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

For the Salad
Place the arugula in a bowl and add half of the dressing and toss to coat. Assemble slices of tomato on 4 individual salad plates. Mound arugula on top of the tomatoes and then alternate slices of mango and avocado. Add some of the almonds, drizzle with balsamic vinegar glaze, and sprinkle with the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

mango avo close up

Coconut Red Curry With Tofu And Vegetables

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Vegetable curry and tofu

Sometimes we have a craving for a particular dish—and this is how our Coconut Red Curry With Tofu And Vegetables came about! This is a healthy, vegan recipe featuring fresh vegetables and tofu. We love curry—all different kinds—and we were in the mood for a curry with coconut milk. Having eaten a lot of curry in restaurants all over the city, we felt the consistency of the tofu was important and noted that the best tofu curry had just the right texture. We like the tofu to be firm on the outside yet still moist and chewy. We pan-fried it first before we added it to our vegetables and curry sauce and we couldn’t have been more pleased! We chose spring and summer vegetables like asparagus and snow peas, along with broccoli and bell pepper—they seem to go so well with the curry flavor. If these are not available you can easily make substitutions.

We were amazed at how many different brands of red curry paste there are. We settled on Thai Kitchen brand for two reasons—we like its deep, rich flavor, and it is widely available in most supermarkets.

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We panfry the tofu first for a chewy and moist texture.

 peppers and peapods in curry

We add the peapods and red peppers and then cover the skillet. This way the vegetables are crisp yet tender.

Lime and basil

The lime juice and basil are added right before serving.

 Coconut Red Curry With Tofu And Vegetables
4 servings

One 14-ounce package extra firm organic tofu, drained
1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chopped asparagus, 1-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
3/4 tablespoon red curry paste (we like Thai Kitchen brand)
One 13.5-ounce can organic, unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
3 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 cup sliced red bell pepper, 1/4-inch wide strips
1 cup peapods, trimmed
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/3 cup chiffonade fresh basil
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Place the tofu on several layers of paper towels on either a plate or cutting board. Cover with more paper towels, place a plate or another cutting board on top, and rest a weight, such as a small skillet, on top of that. This will press the excess liquid from the tofu. Let the tofu drain for at least 30 minutes. Cut into 1-inch cubes.

Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the directions on the package and set aside.

Line a plate with paper towels and set aside (this is for draining the cooked tofu).

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Place the tofu in the pan. Cook undisturbed until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip (we like using tongs for this) and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 6 minutes more. Drain on the paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet with paper towels and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the broccoli and asparagus and sauté until lightly brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

Wipe the pan clean with paper towels and let it cool. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir frequently, taking care not to burn. Add the ginger and the red curry paste and cook another minute stirring frequently.
Add the coconut milk, 1/4 cup of water, soy sauce, sugar and stir. Add the bell pepper strips, peapods, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook, covered, until the pea pods are slightly tender but still crisp, 7-8 minutes.

Add the broccoli and asparagus, and tofu to the skillet with the peapods and peppers and mix. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lime juice and basil. Season with salt to taste and crushed red pepper flakes if desired. Divide the rice and curry into bowls, and serve hot.

 

Vegeatble and tofu curry

Buddha Bowl with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Spiced Chickpeas, and Swiss Chard

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Buddha Bowl 1

Lori went to college in Northern California and we often went to visit. The food scene there had a big influence on all of us. Even those many years ago we were into fresh, locally grown vegetables, and whole grains. Our dog-eared cookbooks were The Moosewood Cookbook, The Vegetarian Epicure, and Laurel’s Kitchen. One of our favorite things to make in those days is what is now commonly referred to as Buddha Bowls. We didn’t call them that then. At the time, we now recall, we just liked eating meals out of a bowl and it was a great way to use up any of the leftover vegetables and grains we had bought over the course of the week.

Today we love Buddha bowls and our kids do too––so simple and healthy and very pretty to serve. Basically ours have four elements and you can design one just as you like. Here are some suggestions:

Grain––quinoa, rice, millet, farro, whole-wheat couscous, barley
Vegetables––sautéed greens, roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots
Protein––beans, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds
Sauce––tahini, peanut, ginger-soy, chili-garlic

Roasted Chickpeas

 

Oarange zest

Sweet potato not cooked

Sweet potato cooked

 

 

Poblano Tahini

 

Swiss Chard Raw

Buddha Bowl with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Spiced Chickpeas, and Swiss Chard

4 servings

Ingredients

For the Buddha Bowl
2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon orange zest
Sea salt
One 15-ounce can organic chickpeas, drained, rinsed well, and patted dry (or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, whole
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch Swiss chard, rough stems discarded, leaves cut into 1-inch strips
2 cups cooked quinoa, rice, farro (or any grain of your choice)

For the Poblano-Tahini Dressing
1/3 cup roughly chopped poblano pepper
1 clove garlic, quartered
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 Preheat the oven to 425° F.

 In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, coconut oil, maple syrup, orange zest, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Mix well until the potatoes are evenly coated.

 Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Flip them with a spatula and continue to cook until the potatoes are beginning to brown and are tender, about 15 minutes more.

 Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine the chickpeas, 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, the paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Mix well until the chickpeas are thoroughly coated.

 Spread the chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes (stirring them once halfway through.)

 Make the poblano-tahini dressing: Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or the bowl of a food processor, and blend until smooth. Add additional water to attain your desired consistency. Set aside.

 Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the 4 cloves of whole garlic, and the red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chard, cover the skillet and cook until the chard begins to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the chard is completely wilted and cooked through.

 Put 1/2 cup of the cooked grains in the bottom of each of 4 serving bowls. Top each bowl with some of the roasted sweet potatoes, roasted chickpeas, and sautéed chard. Drizzle with the poblano-tahini dressing as desired, and serve.

Close up Buddha Bowl

Bucatini with Sautéed Chard and Vegetarian Sausage

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Right now, for us, chard is the new kale. Don’t get us wrong—we still LOVE kale—but we’ve been craving chard and ogling beautiful photos featuring chard for the last couple of months. Swiss, red or rainbow, we don’t care. It has such a zesty, slightly salty flavor, which makes it an ideal ingredient for pastas, casseroles, frittatas––the list could go on and on…. Popular in Mediterranean cooking, it’s exceptionally good for you—it’s considered one of the most nutritious vegetables there is. So we’ve been on a mission to come up with some scrumptious chard recipes.

bucatini1This one, a pasta dish, is super easy to make and so full of flavor…And it can be modified for lots of tastes and diets––you can easily make it vegan, gluten free, whole wheat, and low fat with simple substitutions. We like to make it vegetarian because it’s one of those vegetarian dishes that have a lot of appeal to meat eaters—they don’t feel like they’re missing anything in terms of flavor or texture. It’s perfect for your Meatless Monday meal.

We do like pasta—a lot. We know a lot of people who won’t eat it. We think the key for us is that we make pasta recipes that have tons of vegetables or other ingredients so that we really are satisfied with the portion of pasta that we are meant to eat (no—it’s not a one pound box for two people.)

We happen to love this dish with an artisanal veggie sausage a friend introduced us to—she’s a tried and true meat eater and she loves it! But you can also use any kind of cooked Italian meat or poultry sausage that you like in this recipe and there are a lot of organic ones to choose from these days. You just need to cook your sausages through, then cut them into rounds and brown.

bucatini2We doubled the amount of chard we would normally use for this recipe. We just found that it cooked down so much in the sautéing process that there wasn’t enough green for our liking. We used both Swiss and rainbow chard—we can’t tell you if they taste much different but we love the combination of colors. Look at this raw rainbow chard––it looks like a painting.

bucatini3When sautéing the chard we begin with the chopped ribs and tender stems—even before we put in the garlic–-our kids don’t like them too crunchy. Then we add the garlic and hot pepper flakes and finally the chard leaves. When you put so much leafy vegetable in the skillet it really is quite bountiful at first––you almost can’t imagine that it will ever cook down. We put a large lid on top at the beginning to help the wilting process, but you still have to stir frequently so that it cooks evenly and doesn’t burn.

After the chard has wilted you add the sausage back in to get it good and hot.

bucatini4It’s so beautiful and tasty–-you really could take this sauté right here, skip the pasta, and serve it in countless ways––on a bed of polenta, quinoa, or lentils, or chop it a little finer and use it in a frittata. All delicious alternatives. But for us, this pasta dish really hits the spot.

Bucatini with Sautéed Chard and Vegetarian Sausage

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

2 pre-cooked Italian vegetarian sausages (we like Field Roast), cut into 1/3 to 1/2-inch round slices (you can also use any kind of cooked Italian meat or poultry sausages)
Kosher salt
1 pound bucatini (or spaghetti)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large bunches chard (Swiss, red, rainbow or a combination) leaves cut into 1 inch wide strips, ribs and tender stems roughly chopped (discard the thicker part of the stems)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
3 tablespoons chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage in one layer; cook undisturbed until browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip and cook on the other side for an additional 2 to 4 minutes. Set the sausage aside in a dish or bowl.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook until al dente, about 1 minute less than the directions on the package. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta in a colander.

Meanwhile, wipe down the skillet with paper towels, set it over medium heat, and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering add the chard stems and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and cook for 1 minute. Add the chard and sauté, stirring until wilted, 7 to 9 minutes (you can cover the skillet with a large lid but continue to stir.) Once wilted, add in the browned sausage, and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.

Add the drained pasta to the skillet with 3 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and cook, stirring, until the pasta is coated, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with the remaining parsley, and Parmesan cheese (if desired). Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.

bucatini5