Michael Symon's Orecchiette with Sausage & Swiss Chard

I just love Carnivore by Michael Symon!  A few weeks ago I made the Bucatini with Bacon, Tomatoes and Jalapeno and absolutely loved it!  Last week we tried another pasta dish, Orecchiette with Chorizo and Swiss Chard.

I will admit to a few pangs of guilt when eating the bucatini dish.  Each piece of bucatini was coated in bacon fat, so delicious!  So with the orecchiette dish, I thought I would try and "skinny" it up a bit.  I bought, sorry Mr. Symon, chicken sausage!  I used Al Fresco brand Chipotle Chorizo Chicken Sausage.

And of course I found beautiful orecchiette at The Olive Grove.

Like the bucatini, this dish comes together in a matter of minutes.  Even faster when you use a pre-cooked sausage like I did.  It was less than 20 minutes start to finish.   Here is a link to the recipe from The Chew website.

Start your water boiling!  The pasta will be done by the time the rest of the ingredients are prepared.  If you are using uncooked sausage start browning that in a large dutch oven when you drop the pasta in the water.  It should be nice and browned when the pasta is almost done.  I did brown up the pre-cooked sausage to add a little more flavor.

This is how easy this dish is!  To the browned sausage add the Swiss chard, cook until it is wilted a little, add the pasta water, beans, and pasta and cook until the pasta is done, maybe 2 minutes!

Off the heat add lemon zest, parsley, butter, olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan cheese and you're done!  I will admit I wasn't sure about all the lemon but it was really, really good!

What was the verdict on the chicken sausage?  We really liked it!  It had great flavor, good heat and was better for us than true chorizo.  Would the chorizo have tasted better?  Maybe, but this was good enough for me to make again the very same way.  I'll save my "fat filled" dish for the Bucatini with Bacon!

This was very good and we'll definitely make it again because it's so easy and so delicious.  Perfect for a night when there's lots going on after work.  You can change the flavor profile by changing the sausage that you use so the possibilities are endless!  Another winner from Michael Symon! 

How much better was it for us using the chicken sausage?  Had I made the dish with chorizo the nutritional information would have been:

Per Serving: 757 Calories; 33g Fat (39.8% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 81g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 73mg Cholesterol; 892mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 5 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 5 Fat. 

For those of you on Weight Watchers that's 20 points plus per serving

Using the chicken sausage the nutritional information per serving is:

Per Serving: 620 Calories; 16g Fat (23.1% calories from fat); 35g Protein; 84g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 73mg Cholesterol; 713mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 5 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat.

That comes to 16 Weight Watcher points per serving.  Still a lot, but this is really good!

And according to the recipe it makes 4-6 servings.  With a side and some bread it's more like 8 servings in our house.

Per Serving: 465 Calories; 12g Fat (23.1% calories from fat); 26g Protein; 63g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 55mg Cholesterol; 535mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 4 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat.
Or 12 Weight Watchers Plus points

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