Pasta with Potato Sauce, Sausage and Chard

Pasta and potatoes may seem an unusual combination but you will be surprised at how delicious this humble Italian dish really is. It has its origins in Neopolitan peasant cuisine that made use of leftover pasta and vegetables so that nothing was wasted. The Italians have always been creative and this dish is a sustainable way to use up leftover mixed pasta and with potatoes and any other vegetables that you have. The combinations are endless.

I have chosen my favorite pasta, lumache, a large snail shell form of pasta that holds sauce really well and one large potato and a handful of chard that I had growing in my garden.  When combined with onion, grated Parmesan cheese and good quality Italian sausages the result is a filling and delicious creamy pasta that is very satisfying.

Pasta with Potato Sauce, Sausage and Chard

IMG_20190411_122209-lumache pasta shells

IMG_20190411_113232-Lumache pasta

Ingredients:

  • 200g Pasta, Lumache or any pasta that you have in your pantry
  • 1 large potato (or 2 small), chopped into cubes
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil for the potatoes
  • 1 handful of chard, chopped
  • 4 Italian sausages, casings removed and chopped into small pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil to cook the sausages
  • 1 small knob of butterIMG_20190411_113130-Lumache with cream of potatoes1

Method:

  1. Prepare the sausages and cheeseIMG_20190411_114502-ingredients for lumache pasta 1
  2. Chop the onion and wash and trim the chardIMG_20190411_115034- ingredients fo lumache pasta2
  3. Place the potato cubes in a saucepan and cover with cold water
  4. Bring to the boil, salt the water then lower the heat to simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender
  5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes to a bowlIMG_20190411_122819-boiled potatoes
  6. Drizzle the 1/4 cup of olive oil over the potatoes
  7. Add the Parmesan cheese, freshly ground black pepper and 1/4 cup of the cooking water from the potatoesIMG_20190411_123019-Cheese on boiled potatoes
  8. Using an immersion stick blender, pulse the potato mixture till creamy. Add a little extra cooking water if needed so that the resulting potato sauce is not too thickIMG_20190411_123311-Potato cream
  9. Set aside and now cook the sausages and pasta
  10. Using a wide, deep frypan add 2 tablespoons of Extra virgin Olive oil and a small knob of butter over a medium heat
  11. When the butter foams add the onion, stir through and lower the heat, cover and cook for 8 mins or until the onions are translucentIMG_20190411_124038-Onions in frypan
  12. When the onions are cooked increase the heat to medium high and add the sausage piecesIMG_20190411_125715-Sausage and onions
  13. Brown the sausage pieces lowering the heat if the onion starts to catch
  14. When the sausage is browned lower the heat, add the chard and a 1/4 cup of the cooking water from the potatoes, cover and simmer for five minutesIMG_20190411_130349-Sausages and silverbeet
  15. When the chard is wilted check for seasoning then set aside covered
  16. In a large saucepan, bring some salted water to the boil and when the water reaches a rolling boil add the pasta, stirring to make sure that it does not stick together
  17. Cook until the pasta is al dente
  18. Remove a cup of the cooking water from the pasta and then strain the pasta
  19. Add the pasta to the sausage, chard mix and stir through gently
  20. Check the potato sauce adding some hot water if the consistency is too stiff
  21. Stir the potato sauce through the sausage, chard and pastaIMG_20190411_133908-Sausages-Pasta-potato cream
  22. Add a little of the cooking water gently stiring it through to make the pasta creamy as desiredIMG_20190411_134118-Lumache pasta with potato creme
  23. Serve immediately with a green garden saladIMG_20190411_134820-Lumache with potato creme4

Variations:

You could add some white zucchini to the potato sauce or substitute leek for the onion. You could also add any leafy greens like fresh kale or rocket. You could try leftover bacon or a little prosciutto in place of the sausage. Whatever is available on the day and any combination of leftover pasta that has the same cooking time. A really good Parmesan cheese like Grana Padano or Reggiano is at the heart of the sauce.

(200g of the lumache pasta made 2 large serves. It could have made 3 medium serves. Check the packaging of the pasta you are using to see the recommended quantity of pasta you that you will need)

 

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