Pasta with Turnips, Sausage & Greens
It’s that time of the year folks! Our farmers market stand is filling up with all the spring bounty and our farm CSA begins in just over a week. One of my favorite challenges that I give myself once our CSA is in full swing is to cook meals utilizing all of the ingredients that go into our members boxes each week. If you aren’t familiar, a CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Essentially what that means is that families purchase a share of your farm and every week for the entire farm season they receive a box of produce that includes that week’s harvest. This is our 9th season running a CSA and it’s our largest membership to date. We capped it at 120 families this year. That’s a lot of boxes to fill each week but we’re ready!!!
Anyhow, in the early days of CSA our members can expect to receive quite a lot of turnips. We love turnips and to be honest, my favorite way to eat them is raw. The variety that we grow is Hakurei, which is a sweet Japanese turnip that’s not bitter at all and the greens themselves are equally delicious. Before cooking these little white gems, try taking a bite of raw turnip just for a treat!
This recipe is a great way to highlight turnips and utilizes both the roots and greens. I paired them with some local sausage from a neighboring farm for a simple pasta dinner. The pasta is a local spelt flour pasta which I absolutely adore. However, feel free to use any type of pasta you have on hand.
You don’t have to be a part of a CSA to get your hands on these turnips. I think most farmers around the country grow Japanese turnips and you can probably find them at most farmers markets. Happy spring cooking everyone!
Pasta with Turnips, Sausage & Greens
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves: 4
- 1 pound penne pasta (we used a spelt flour penne which was delicious)
- 2 Tablespoons butter or ghee, divided (or cooking fat of choice)
- 1 pound of Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 small bunch of turnips, with greens (about 1 pound of roots)
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (or broth or water)
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, and then drain the pasta and return it to the pot (keeping the 1 cup of reserved pasta water to the side).
- Heat 1 Tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, until it's cooked through and lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage from the pan and add it to the pot with the pasta. Keep the pan on medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter.
- Cut the turnips into small chunks (about 1/4 inch pieces). Stack the greens and thinly slice them. Keep the greens to the side.
- Add the turnips to the hot pan along with the crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Add the wine and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates and the turnips begin to soften and brown. Add more butter if needed. Toss in the turnips greens and cook until they wilt. About 3 minutes longer.
- Transfer the mixture to the pot with the pasta and sausage and give it a good toss. Add the goat cheese and enough of the reserved pasta water to create a light sauce that coats to pasta. Divide between bowls and top with parmesan and additional salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes if desired.
Notes*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.