Easy pasta and greens recipe

Another pasta dish, simple and tasty. Maybe I should start a series on this pasta dishes great for quick lunches or fast dinners that are ready in 20 minutes. What I love about this pastas is that the sauce is so fast that they are ready in the time needed to cook the pasta and they taste so much better than something out of a can, frozen or microwaved. And seriously it takes about the same time.


  • 1/4 lb pasta per person
  • a bunch of your favorite greens
  • 1-2 spring rosemary
  • EVOO
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • grated parmesan or pecorino (optional)


  1. First start the water and clean the greens. I used a leafy kind of choi I don’t remember the exact name, but it looks similar to broccoli rabe, anyway any kind of green works for this pasta: spinach, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, turnip greens… I would suggest to pick a variety with tender leaves but other than that feel free to pick your favorite.
  2. When the water starts boiling salt it and add the greens and the pasta. I suggest a short kind of pasta like penne or rigatoni. Let everything cook until pasta is ready (check instructions on packet, but it should take about 10-12 minutes). While pasta cooks, warm up some oil with rosemary, and a couple of crushed garlic cloves. If you like it add also a bit of chili flakes. When pasta is ready drain the pasta and greens and toss them in the pan with flavored oil. Serve immediately and season to taste with pepper.
  3. You can also add a bit of grated cheese to your pasta. Parmesan or pecorino would be my suggestion.

Sausages and greens and a giveaway

What can I say? I am being terrible at keeping up with posting regularly… I am so bad that today my blog had forgotten me I had to go look for the login page and log back in! That is how long I haven’t been on my blog…. Well once again I have to ask for forgiveness. On the bright side, I come bearing gifts!

I’m doing my first giveaway ever! I was recently contacted by by Gold’n Plump, the largest chicken producer of the Midwest, and was asked to try their new line of chicken sausages. I accepted and a few days later the sausages were at my doorstep. They looked so good, I cooked some that same night. And the following night I made some more. And on the weekend I used them for my kebabs.  The recipe I share is super simple and has only 3 ingredients: that shows much flavor there is in those sausages!

Have to say that contrary to all predictions, my favorite were the hot Italian sausages. I usually don’t like Italian sausages, but these one are so nicely flavored that I loved them. The fennel is not overpowering and the hot pepper gives them a little kick. The regular ones also have a surprising hint of lemon that makes them very light and refreshing. And they contain 50% less fat than pork sausages! And the lack of fat does not translate in lack of flavor or in dry sausages. They are pretty delicious even compared to regular sausages!

So onto the giveaway. Enter to win a sampler of Gold’n Plump chicken sausages.

  • This giveaway is open to US residents only
  • The givaway expires on June 12th at 12:00pm CST
  • The winner will be randomly selected using the random number generator at random.org and announced on the post on Thursday June 14th
  • Full disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Gold’n Plump.

Required Entry: please leave a comment on this post and tell me what you would do with these sausages.

Extra Entries:

  • Follow Italian in the Midwest on Twitter, then leave a separate comment (even you are already following).
  • Like Italian in the Midwest on Facebook, then leave a separate comment (even you are already subscribing).
  • Twit “Come over [email protected]:[email protected]ml and win some chicken brats by @goldnplump”, then leave a separate comment.

Good luck!

Sausage and greens and a giveaway

Sausage and greens and a giveaway


  • 3 hot italian chicken sausages
  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1-2 tsp oil


  1. Remove the sausages from their casings and crumble them.
  2. As sausages to a hot wok with a bit of olive oil. Stir and let cook.
  3. Clean the mustard greens and cut them into pieces.
  4. Place the greens in the wok over the sausage and put a lid on top. After 2-3 minutes, stir the greens and cover again.
  5. After another 3 minutes the greens should be all wilted but still green. Take them off the fire and serve hot.
  6. You can also use to dress pasta!

Greens gone wild

So between an application and another, today I received 2 calls to schedule intervies with some great potential employers. Added to another 2 of last week, today I feel happy and confident and I decided to take a couple of hours off my worrying about work to post one two of the recipes I have prepared in the last week or so.

For the first time this year I have purchased a CSA share. And that means greens! lots of good greens! So what can you do to use a lot of greens? Well a number of things and here I suggest a couple of ideas.

One recipe is inspired by piadina, a typical sandwich like dish served in Emilia Romagna and a summer favorite in Italy. The other one is inspired to tarte tatin but uses turnips instead of apples.

I used the greens in my CSA, but I am sure you can substitute with almost any kind of green. Hope you enjoy this recipes too!

Crescioni – Swiss chard stuffed half moons

Crescioni - Swiss chard stuffed half moons



    • 7 oz. whole wheat flour
    • 3-4 tbsp greek yogurt
    • 2 tbsp oil
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 pinch salt
    • water as needed (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)


  • 1 lb. swiss chard (or other favorite greens)
  • 3 oz. fresh mozzarella (I used Piacci)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt



    1. Knead all the ingredients together until you get an elastic and smooth dough. The consistency should be quite similar to pasta dough, much tougher than pizza or bread dough.
    2. Let rest so that the gluten can relax.
    3. You can use this dough also as a bread of sort. Just roll it out 1/2 inch thick and grill for 2 minutes on each side.


  1. Wash the swiss chards and roughly chop into large pieces. Place the chard in a pot without drying it and add a punch (not a pinch) of salt.
  2. A pinch of salt is what you can hold with 2 fingers, a punch is what you hold with the whole hand and is a highly scientific method used by Italians to measure salt (and often rice).
  3. Cover the pot and place on medium heat. Let the greens steam, mixing them every now and then until completely wilted.
  4. When the greens are cooked, drain them and squeeze out all the water you can. Then finely chop them and put in a pan to sautee in hot olive oil with the garlic cloves. Keep the cloves whole so you can take them out before using the greens as filling.
  5. Let the greens sautee until they are dry, discard the garlic cloves and then set the greens aside to cool.
  6. Roll out the dough into two flat circles about 1/3 inch thick. Pour half the greens on 1 half of 1 dough round arrange some sliced mozarella on top and fold over the other half of the dough. Seal the dough using a fork. Repeat with the other dough/greens.
  7. Grill the crescioni on high heat about 2 minutes per side.
  8. Serve hot so that the mozzarella is still melty.


Turnip tatin


  • 1 bunch turnips with their greens
  • olive oil
  • 1 apple sized ball of quiche dough


  1. Wash the turnips and slice them separating the bulb from the grens.
  2. Drizzle an oven dish with olive oil. Arrange the turnips in one layer.
  3. Cover with the greens.
  4. Roll out the dough and place it over the greens.
  5. Place the tatin in a 400F oven for about half hour or until the dough is golden.
  6. Enjoy cold.