Photo and text by KARA DiCAMILLO
This past weekend I visited the farmers market at Mount Hope Farm in Bristol and it was such a great start to the day. In the converted barn were vendors from all over the state, complete with music and even a food truck.
My recipe this week was inspired by the happy rich greens I bought at Wishing Stone Farm in Little Compton. Never heard of happy rich greens? Neither had I, but they are broccoli-like greens that are vitamin-rich and popular in Asian cuisine. I, however, used them in an Italian dish.
This orecchiette with sausage and happy rich greens is derived from one of my favorite recipes from Giada de Laurentiis’ cookbook, “Everyday Italian.” She makes her dish with broccoli rabe, but by incorporating the happy rich greens as well as sausage from my Simmons Organic Farm CSA, I made it a local dish and found that it was just as delicious. I used orecchiette because I like how the cup-shaped pasta scoops up the sausage and flavors. But you also can use rigatoni, penne or farfalle. This is a great recipe to cook for a crowd, and easy too.
Orecchiette with Sausage and Happy Rich Greens
2 bunches of happy rich greens (1 bunch of leaves, 1 bunch of heads), stalks trimmed and sliced crosswise
12 ounces of dried orechiette pasta
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound of spicy sausage, casings removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper flakes
Quarter cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
Half-teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the happy rich greens. Cook until tender, yet still a little crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the greens and set aside. Add the orecchitte to the same pot of boiling water and cook until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve about 1 cup of the water.
Once you add the pasta to the pot, heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. Break the sausage up with a spoon and cook until it’s browned. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté for about 30 seconds and then add the happy rich greens and toss. Once the greens are coated, add the pasta and enough of the cooking water to moisten. Add the water — a quarter of a cup at a time, and you might not need all of it — and stir. Mix in the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and transfer to pasta bowls. Enjoy.