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    No-fuss odds and ends pasta dish perfect for Fourth of July
    • July 2, 2023

    By Carla Vigos

    Laguna Woods Globe correspondent

    One of my favorite things to do is create a dish from odds and ends in the refrigerator. My Aunt Rose would call this “mescolanza,” which in Italian means mixture.

    Today I had Swiss chard, grape tomatoes, and mushrooms needing some love and attention before going bad. I always have Italian sausage in the freezer, and I had some frozen feta as well.

    So what’s a cook to do? Easy. You boil some pasta and create a new dish – which I must say turned out delizioso.

    Laguna Woods Globe cooking columnist Carla Vigos
    (Courtesy photo)

    Laguna Woods Globe cooking columnist Carla Vigos threw together this scrumptious pasta dish from foods she found in her refrigerator.
    (Photo by Jeff Sinclair)




    8 ounces rotini pasta

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    3 hot or mild Italian sausages, casings removed

    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

    1 bunch Swiss chard, stems finely chopped and greens sliced into ribbons

    6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

    8 ounces sliced mushrooms

    2 cups sliced grape tomatoes

    1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


    Cook rotini in salted water until al dente, usually a minute before time indicated on the pasta package. Save 1 1/2 cups of pasta water before draining. Do not rinse pasta.

    Meanwhile, in a large fry pan or pot, heat olive oil on medium low heat. Add sausage and break apart.  Add chard stems, garlic, mushrooms and optional red pepper. Saute until sausage is cooked.

    Add chard leaves, tomatoes and 1 cup of pasta water. Cover and cook on a low simmer for 5 minutes. Add feta and stir in to blend. Now add the pasta and stir to combine.

    You want it saucy, so more reserved pasta water may be needed. Adjust the seasonings. No parmesan is needed for this pasta because of the saltiness of the feta, but add if desired.

    You can use any greens instead of chard, like spinach, kale or arugula.

    Any questions or comments, email [email protected].

    ​ Orange County Register