Monday, January 13, 2014

Reducing In The New Year

No, I'm not talking about losing weight - it's more about reducing inventory. As a matter of fact, I actually lost a couple of pounds over this holiday, having missed most of the parties and sin food due to My Beloved's bout with flu.

Continuing with my efforts to empty my full-to-spilling-out pantry, I found a third of a package of pappardelle pasta - this brand comes in a box, so it doesn't take up any less space when you use part of the box. An excellent candidate for reducing the clutter in the pantry.

Rummaging around in the freezer, I found a couple of small lamb Merguez sausages and from the fridge some meaty crimini mushrooms and a big plume of Swiss chard, and that seemed like the makings of a slam-dunk dinner.

After I started the water boiling for the pasta, I sautéed in a little olive oil the sausage meat that I pushed out of its casing, then added the sliced mushrooms and three cloves of minced garlic. A little pepper, but no salt, as I planned to serve it with grated Parmesan cheese, which adds plenty of salt for us.

While the sausage mixture was cooking, I removed the ribs and coarsely chopped the Swiss chard. Once the meat was ready, I added a small ladle full of the pasta water and mounded the chard on top, covering the pan to steam the chard and make a pan sauce for the pasta.

Once the chard began to wilt, it made room for me to turn and toss all the ingredients together, allowing them all to contact the bottom of the pan so the chard cooked evenly and was coated with the sausage mixture. After I drained the pasta, it and a bit more of its water was added and the whole thing tossed again.

Divided amongst our plates and sprinkled with cheese, it was a hearty winter meal. The slightly bitter chard was a good counterpoint to the richness of the sausage and the garlic. 

And the bonus was another box recycled and more room in the pantry.


Blogger Namastenancy said...

Sausage and chard - classic pairing! And more room in the pantry for new stuff. Right?

Monday, January 13, 2014  
Blogger Diane said...

love all the bright rich colors and reading how you cook by cleaning out the pantry.

Monday, January 13, 2014  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, I'm hoping to reduce the pantry items until the kitchen remodel is completed - after that, anything goes!

Diane, my culinary inspirations are a little wacky, but they work most of the time!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014  

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