Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Swiss Chard and Sausage Rigatoni + Real Talk

I am going to get real here. I am sorry, you can skip to the recipe if you want.

I don't mind.

Derek has been gone since the middle of September. He came back for two weeks for Christmas and we try to talk everyday. I am going to see him in 62 days (for two weeks). That is it.

Then he is coming home in 143 days. 

I miss him more than I can say.

I am totally a modern woman. I am self-sufficient, someone who manages people (in small numbers), organizes travel, and drives long distances alone. I have lived alone, travelled abroad alone, and worked in foreign countries. I do not think of myself as co-dependent. Derek and I have totally done this before too. He spent a year in Germany while I was in graduate school in Denver. 

Somehow this year is different. Derek is gone and I am empty. I get home from work and the house is empty. There are no cuddles in the bed before I go to sleep (except with the kitten, but that is a different story). Everything is very empty. 

I feel like I should not feel sorry for myself. I have a great home, wonderful friends, a great family, an awesome job, and a very cuddly stripped kitten. I also get to have a full time Derek in just 143 days, tons of people are not so lucky. It's just that I am missing my love always.

When I busy with friends, work, and sewing it not a big deal. When I am not busy it is easy to be a little sad. 

Sorry for the pity party. 

Now for a recipe. This dinner makes me happy, in a way only food can. Derek loves this dinner too. 

It is really easy and fast. Perfect happy food, plus if you use rainbow chard you get to eat a cheerful rainbow, which is nice on a cloudy day. 

Swiss Chard and Sausage Rigatoni
Extensively modified from an old Real Simple cookbook
Serves 4

1 pound dried rigatoni (penne or ziti would work too)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chorizo or hot italian sausage*
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 14.5 ounce can of vegetable broth
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Boil water with plenty of salt and cook the pasta al dente according to the directions, about a minute less than the package directions. 

2. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook it all of the way, about 7 minutes. Spoon off and discard the excess fat. 

Cooking the pork. This is the best pork ever.
3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the broth and red pepper flakes and bring them to a boil. Then, add the swiss chard, cover, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the butter and pasta to the sauce and stir until combined. 

Yes, I have a kitty cat spatula. It makes me smile.
Pork Sauce!
Swiss Chard and pork sauce.
4. With the lid off stir the pasta and the sauce until the sauce thickens and some of the broth boils off. Stir in the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. 

Now it is time to stir.
Pasta combined!
5. Serve. No cheese on top. This has plenty of cheese already.

Dinner. Wine. Always.
*Please buy locally raised and antibiotic free pork. Smithfield is the devil. 

Pork from here

1 comment:

  1. Aww Sarah, I'm sorry you're sad. I can see how it would feel different to be away from Derek now that it was when you two were in school. I cannot imagine being away from Lee for that long of a time.
    Filling your time and belly with some good home cooking seems like the perfect way to cheer up! This recipe sounds deeelicious - I've been on a serious winter greens kick lately.
    Hang in there! I'm here if you want to email/talk/write old-fasioned letters...