So this was tonight’s meal. It was sort of a riff off a couple meals I’ve made before, a combination of my “pasta with sausage and kale,” which was inspired by this recipe, and my chicken meatballs, which I love. Normally my chicken meatballs are made with ground chicken breast, and sometimes with a bit of spicy pork sausage thrown in; this time, I used ground chicken thigh and hot Italian chicken sausage. I wasn’t as big a fan of the meatballs, but Josh liked them.
This meal also used a few items from our farm share. We participate in a weekly CSA with Needle Lane Farm, a local farm, and every Tuesday, we pick up a big, beautiful bag of vegetables fresh off the farm. This week we had swiss chard and garlic scapes, which were new to me. Apparently they are the flowering stalk that shoot up from the garlic bulb; they’re curly and can be added to stirfries, salads or made into pesto, just like regular garlic cloves. Scapes are not commonly found, but may be found at farmer’s markets, and there’s not a huge resource of recipes for them online, but you can find a few with a good Google search.
Anyway, below is more or less the recipe for this meal (really, its more of a guideline than a strict measurement). I’m going to continue on attempting to perfect my chicken meatball as time goes by.
Linguine with Lemon, Swiss Chard and Chicken Meatballs
- 4 servings whole wheat linguine, cooked according to box directions
for the meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken thigh
- 1 link raw hot Italian chicken sausage
- 1 half tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
for the veggies
- 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic scapes, thinly sliced on a bias
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, washed, dried, sliced lengthwise
for the sauce
- olive oil
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- the juice and zest of 1 lemon
- olive oil, for sautéing/taste
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
Make the dish:
While the pasta water is coming to a boil, sauté the onions, scapes and bell pepper in olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until slightly soft; add Swiss chard, salt, and pepper and cook down about 2-3 minutes, or until chard is slightly wilted. Scrape veggies out of pan and onto a nearby plate or bowl to rest.
Place pan back on the heat; sprinkle with a bit more oil. Mix ingredients for meatballs well with a fork, fluffing meat up a bit and thoroughly incorporating the flavors. Form 1-1.5 inch balls with your hand, drop into pan (you may need to do these in batches, depending on the size of your pan). This probably makes about 12-15 meatballs. Let meatballs cook, covered for about 4 minutes, then gently flip over and continue until meat is cooked through and juices run clear. Scoop meatballs out of pan and onto a paper towel to drain.
Deglaze your meatball pan with olive oil, the chicken stock, the lemon juice and lime zest. Add vegetables back in, as well as meatballs. Pour mixture over hot cooked noodles, top with feta.