Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Orecchiette with Fennel Sausage and Swiss Chard

[Photograph: Sara Remington]

Sausage and greens are a glorious pair, whether piled into a sandwich or in this Orecchiette with Fennel Sausage and Swiss Chard is a hearty and fall-perfect Puglian classic brought stateside by Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina, executive chef at Osteria Mozza.

There are, of course, two ways of going about this recipe. The first, and decidedly more ambitious involves breaking out the meat grinder and making a batch of Silverton's Fennel Sausage. The second method is to go with storebought links. If you have the luxury of time and can grind your own, I'd recommend going the homemade route, the recipe here is really stellar, perfectly seasoned with nutty toasted fennel, fennel pollen, hot paprika, and a splash of red wine vinegar. An added bonus is that the recipe produces about five pounds, meaning that you can stock your freezer with plenty of fantastic homemade sausage.

Once you've chosen your sausage, the pasta comes together with chopped chard simmered down to the point of near melting folded into little nubs of browned sausage and finished with chicken stock and butter. When it comes time to plate the orecchiette is dusted with fennel pollen, toasty breadcrumbs, and a shower of Parmigiano. In a word, awesome. This is the sort of cool weather pasta that will keep you happy all winter long.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Mozza Cookbook to give away this week.

Adapted from The Mozza Cookbook by Nancy Silverton with Matt Molina and Carolynn Carreño. Copyright © 2011. Published by Alfred A. Knof. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

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