Fussili with Homemade Sausage, Chard and Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Homemade sausage! I have had this itch to make home made sausage for a long long time but I could never figure out where I would get Kosher sausage casings nor do I own a sausage maker to fill the casings. It dawned on me though that I could still make sausage and use it for a recipe that required me to de-case them. This revelation together with the fact that I found myself with some ground chicken that I needed to use up equaled the perfect opportunity. Ordinarily I would have preferred to make this with veal or beef but chicken was what I had so chicken it was. I marinated the chicken in the spice mixture for about 24 hours to let the seasoning really permeate into the meat and then used the sausage and some other yummy things like- slow roasted tomatoes- yum! and swiss chard (you knowwww how much I love chard) to make a delicious and relatively simply pasta dish. Of course you don't have to make your own sausage to make this pasta, you can substitute any sausage you have on hand but I felt really accomplished after making my own and I was able to ensure there was no junk and weird animal parts in my sausage. What you should not leave out from this dish are the tomatoes- their sweet acidity just goes so well here and really enhanced the dish. Enjoy!

1 lb Fussili pasta or any short pasta- Penne would be good too
1 lb Sausage (see below)
1 batch oven roasted tomatoes
1 package swiss chard, cleaned and chopped, or 10 oz fresh spinach
2 Tbl olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper

In a large well salted pot, boil the pasta, strain and set aside. In a large saute pan heat 2 Tbl of the olive oil. Add the sausage and break it up with a wooden spatula and let it cook over high heat until just browned. Remove the sausage from the pan and drain off the fat leaving just about 3 Tbl of fat in the pan. Saute the onion and garlic in the pan until the onions are translucent and add the chard. Cook until the chard has just wilted. Add the wine and cook for a minute and then add the broth and bring to a boil. Once its at a boil lower the flame and add the pasta, sausage and tomatoes. You aren't cooking the pasta you are just reheating it and allowing some of the sauce to permeate it. Cook until the sauce has absorbed into the pasta and make sure to season well with salt and pepper. Top with toasted pine nuts and serve!

For the Sausage:
1 lb ground  chicken thighs
1 Tbl crushed garlic
2 tsp harissa
1 tsp ground fennel
1 Tbl sweet paprika
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbl red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Mix all together and refrigerate overnight so the flavors can develop.


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