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Gemelli With Sausage, Swiss Chard, and Pine Nuts

Pine nuts, which are harvested from pinecones, can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Store them in the refrigerator for up to three months; freeze them for up to nine. Swiss Chard, a member of the beet family, comes in several varieties, which can be used interchangeably. Look for chard with bright-green leaves and no brown spots.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Gemelli With Sausage, Swiss Chard, and Pine Nuts

Source: Everyday Food, March/April 2003


  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, tough stems removed, leaves cut into thin strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound gemelli, or other short pasta
  • 3/4 cup raisins, plumped in boiling water and drained
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


  1. In a large skillet, toast pine nuts over medium-high heat, shaking the pan to toast evenly, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from skillet.

  2. In the same skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and cook, breaking it up with a fork, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add chard, garlic, and pepper; cook, tossing, until chard wilts, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover to keep warm.

  3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions, about 12 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot.

  4. Add sausage mixture to pasta with 1/2 cup reserved cooking water, raisins, toasted pine nuts, and Parmesan; toss to combine. Add more cooking water if pasta seems dry. Serve with more Parmesan.

Reviews (19)

  • friendofchezzie 4 May, 2013

    I too love this recipe but I would reduce the pasta by at least a third. The ratio of greens to pasta to sausage is much better.. Definitely go with red pepper flakes and twice the parm!

  • Shashi 13 Jan, 2013

    sorry, I meant to say - double the parmesan!!!

  • Shashi 13 Jan, 2013

    My whole family loves this recipe! Do not skip the raisins! To simplify, I throw in one of those 5 oz. boxes of salad greens - baby spinach, or sometimes I can find a kale/chard mix - instead of the chard as listed.

  • Shizeesh 11 Dec, 2011

    I wanted to LOVE this recipe as is.The guts of this recipe are great, however the flavor profile seemed a bit bland so I add a few things that made it 5 stars. First, I opted for turkey sausage. I also added red pepper flakes, a splash of dry red wine, a bit of grated mozzarella and topped the dish with a dollop of goat cheese and omitted the raisins. I didn't have Swiss chard so I used baby spinach instead. For my husband and I, the goat cheese made this!

  • MairiC 8 Dec, 2011

    I have often made a dish quite like this with kale and linguini. I think I like aspects of both and will combine them. I like the gemelli better, but the kale from the other dish. Next time I would use hot Italian, not mild. I used chicken broth instead of the pasta water, and added hot pepper flakes with the chard and garlic. The raisins gave it interest, and the pine nuts a nice contrast in texture. Some cream wouldn't be out of place. And I was more generous with the parmesan. Very nice.

  • sugarbearKT 8 Dec, 2011

    We are eating this right now! Sooo goood! I omitted the raisins. Added a bit of cream and some oregano. The girls are wolfing it down! Thanks!

  • ryepye 5 Sep, 2011

    My family, kids 9 and 12, loves this dish.

  • amyvanderpoest 24 Mar, 2010

    Outrageously good!!!! The whole family liked it which is very unusual for us. I replaced the Italian sausage with chicken, apple and gouda sausage cut into 1/2 inch chunks and whole wheat pasta, less fat and more fiber.

  • mcmaestas 4 Mar, 2010

    I've been looking for a good chard recipe, can't wait to try this!

  • eaziegler317 11 Dec, 2008

    I used the vegan italian sausage by Field Roast (Whole Foods, Wild Oats) and it was fabulous...good for vegetarians.

  • eaziegler317 11 Dec, 2008

    I used the vegan italian sausage by Field Roast (Whole Foods, Wild Oats) and it was fabulous...good for vegetarians.

  • eaziegler317 11 Dec, 2008

    I used the vegan italian sausage by Field Roast (Whole Foods, Wild Oats) and it was fabulous...good for vegetarians.

  • lololo 1 Dec, 2008

    Turkey sausage or chicken sausage, both lower in calories and fat, would work just as well in this recipe.

  • dovecanyon 1 Dec, 2008

    To jhummert: Then don't eat it.

  • gracieb83 13 May, 2008

    and definitely yes to the raisins. They add a lot....really the finishing touch - a bit of sweet with the spice of the sausage and the crunch of the nuts

  • gracieb83 13 May, 2008

    so good. Cooked this tonight - used whole wheat fusili, spicy chicken sausage and added some red pepper flakes - this is wonderful. and will definitely be added to the dinner rotation

  • jhummert 4 Mar, 2008

    Isn't sausage really UNHEALTHY???

  • far3v 19 Feb, 2008

    This was a delicious and easy dish that I highly recommend. I substituted chicken sausage for the pork sausage and it tasted great. One thing I highly recommend is to keep the raisins in there. They add something great!

  • ardaliz 16 Nov, 2007

    This was a hot HIT with my somewhat picky family. One (kinda major) substitution: I didn't think the raisins would go over very well so I swapped them for sundried tomatoes. The dinner was praised as being "restaurant quality" and everything! I did have one vegetarian guest and it was simple to make a smaller, meatless batch -- I added a bit more swiss chard and cheese to that pan though.

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