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How To Make A Hearty Dinner In A New York Minute

It’s finally the weekend and I, for one. am stoked! Time to rest up, get some beauty sleep and prep for my never ending marathon of social events to come. If we’re really being real, the weekend starts on Thursday evening for me, and this week is no different.

I had to head over to a friend’s home last night for our monthly potluck dinner meet up. My original plan was to show up swagged up with some jollof rice on my arm (#naijajollof) but the way my procrastination and lack of prep was set up, I was left with a late work night and two hours to be there. I had to think of a quick, hearty meal I could prep in 30 minutes or less that at least made me look like I tried to cook. So, I settled on pasta with sausage and swiss chard.

Ingredients

1 head of Swiss Chard
1 pack of Italian Sausages
1 pound of pasta
1 can of chickpeas
2 shallots
1 Lemon

Instructions

Fire up your stove and in a pot bring about 6 cups of water to a boil. As your water is boiling, take off the casings from your sausage links by slicing a thin line along the length of it and pulling away the casing. Set aside.

Wash and strip the chard leaves from the stem and chop lightly into long strips. Set aside. (You can always go the rustic route and just tear the leaves apart).

This recipe is totally customizable, and you’re free to use kale, or any other leafy vegetable (I wouldn’t recommend spinach on account of the extra water content, unless you pre-wilt and drain the water prior). Finely mince your shallots and set aside. Remember, Mise en place!

The water should be at a rolling boil by now. At this point, salt your water and toss in your pasta. I used a rotini pasta for this recipe, but any medium-large size pasta will work.

In a separate pan, brown the sausage and with your cooking spoon, break apart into bite size chunks stirring constantly so that you render some of that great fat. The great part about this recipe is that if you have a good grade sausage (or in my case, are friends with a butcher, #butcherbae), the sausage is already flavorful and minimal seasoning will be needed to bring this all together nicely.

About halfway into your browning, toss in the shallots and cook until just translucent. At this point, season with a little bit of cayenne and paprika.

Toss in your chickpeas, and let them get coated with the fat and seasonings.

Your Greens go in next. Stir gently — so as not to smash the chickpeas — until just wilted.

Drain your pasta and add it to the pot. Stir to marry together all the ingredients. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the items to help move the stirring along. Because I felt this recipe needed a bit more “oomph” to it I decided to add in about a half cup of grated parmesan cheese. (Best decision ever!)

When you’re ready to serve, plate your meal, and spritz a bit of lemon juice on top to brighten up the dish. I was able to finish this meal in less than a half hour and get dressed and head out the door in under two. Just call me #Pastabae

Let us know if there are any recipes you’d love to see next! We’d love to hear from you especially if you’ve tried any of these recipes yourself!