Friday, March 12, 2010

Swiss Chard Strozzapreti Pasta with Vegan Smoked Apple-Sage Sausage and Raw Zucchini Slices Topped with Key West Mojo Criollo

My wife recently joined an "online farmer's market", Papa Spud's, where we get a weekly dropoff of both local and non-local produce, and this week we had a nice bunch of Swiss Chard. I thought I would make a pasta dish and used an idea I got from about cooking Swiss Chard; I more or less followed their idea of cutting, stem and leaves, into a dice, then steaming for about 11 minutes.

Once the chard was done, I drained it. I quickly dab dried the stock pot I cooked the chard in, added a bit of oil, and heated the oil over medium heat. Then I put in a clove of garlic and a half small red onion, both diced into approximately 1/4" pieces, and cooked for about 3 minutes, till the onion was somewhat clear and cooked down a bit. I then added some sauce; I used a tasty local North Carolina-made marinara sauce by a company called Thomas Gourmet Foods. I added a little salt, a pinch or two of paprika, and a little dried oregano, then simmered till everything else was ready and served atop pasta.

As I described in May 2008, "there are a number of theories why strozzapreti pasta is named as a 'priest choker' pasta, such as that priests in Italy would gorge themselves on these rolled towel shaped pasta pieces and choke". I like this pasta and had it on hand so used it, though for what I was making, I would have preferred seashell-shaped Conchiglie pasta to catch the ingredients within the form. (I had forgotten, but after photographing, added a little Eat in the Raw's Parma! vegan "Parmesan cheese" to the pasta dish.)

I heated apple-sage vegan sausage, as well. Finally, I served some raw slices of zucchini. I topped these slices with Key West Mojo Criollo, originally, I believe, a Cuban lime marinade, and which I had purchased from Trader Joe's. It was a good dinner - my wife loves greens and sometimes balks at non-tomato sauce based pastas, so I combined greens with marinara sauce and pasta and she was predictably delighted!


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