Quick and Delicious: Pasta with radish greens

The leaves of a radish plant

This recipe is basically a different take on Pasta with Spinach and Sausage.  Sausage may not be the healthiest or most frugal choice of meat, but it is delicious!  And it makes cooking easy because it adds enough flavor that you don’t need to mess with the seasonings too much.

The spinach is long gone by now, but I’ve got some radishes hanging around in the garden.  They haven’t grown bulbs, and they’re beginning to go to seed.  Now, what good is a radish plant that doesn’t produce a radish?!

Well, it seems that it can be used for greens.  I had never eaten them myself or heard of anyone eating them, but it seemed like a good possibility, and, lo and behold, Google came to my aid and confirmed that people do, indeed, eat radish leaves.

I found a few recipes that looked interesting (an Indian side dish and some pesto), but they weren’t quite what I wanted.  So, since I’m still trying to use up my canned tomatoes and I’ve got plenty of pasta in the pantry, this seemed like the way to go.

I was a little nervous about the radish greens since the plants were going to seed, so they definitely weren’t young and tender leaves.  But, they worked out great.  I removed the thick lower stems, and they cooked up beautifully and tasted fine.

Now I have a reason to keep planting radishes and another source of leafy greens that will last later into the season than lettuce or spinach.  They’re healthy, frugal, and delicious, a success all around!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pint canned tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 lb penne pasta or other chunky pasta
  • a large bunch of radish greens, coarsely chopped and with the large ribs removed

Directions:

  1. Brown the sausage and onion in a large skillet while heating the water for the pasta.
  2. Stir the tomatoes into the sausage and simmer, stirring occasionally, while the pasta cooks.
  3. During the last few minutes that the pasta is cooking, stir the radish greens into the sausage and tomatoes and cook just until the greens are wilted and bright green.
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