This recipe is a spin on a classic Italian bolognese style meat sauce, made with ground pork, tomatoes, chilli and swiss chard and stirred through my favourite quinoa pasta. You could use beef, turkey, chicken or even make it plant-based if you prefer and swap the greens for what you have and love.
I live in Portland, Maine, surrounded by fabulous small farms producing thoughtfully raised meats and produce. I used heritage ground pork from Patch Farm in Denmark, Maine, a family-owned organic farm that uses bio-dynamic practices.
Farmer’s BrennaMae & Brandon are true visionaries deeply dedicated to sustainable farming practices, pushing the boundaries of what one can grow in Maine + creating food security within their community. They have a CSA + a farm stand and attend local and regional markets weekly ~ seek them out if you can; their food is vibrant!
Spices, herbs and foods that are grounding, warming and calming with earthy rich tones and flavours. These foods help the body relax are generally rich in anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial nutrients.
High fibre foods are an important part of a healthy digestive system. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are high in fibre.
Ingredients are naturally rich in essential minerals. Salty taste in botanicals like parsley, nettles, seaweeds indicates the plants have a high mineral content.
Recipes with protein-rich ingredients. Examples of high protein foods include; eggs, meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy, quinoa, teff, millet, wild rice, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, wheat, nuts, seeds, hemp seeds, peas, beans, lentils, legumes, soy, tofu & tempeh, broccoli, brussels, spinach, kale, mushrooms, nutritional yeast.
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Italian Spiced Pork & Chard Pasta Bowls
IN A SAUCEPAN stainless saucepan on medium heat
ADD add oil, onion, garlic, parsley, sauté for 2 mins stirring occasionally until onion softens.
ADD ground pork, saute on high heat for at least 5-7 mins or until nice and browned – stirring every minute or so.
ADD tomato paste; cook 1 min stirring.
ADD tomatoes + chilli + salt + dried herbs + water – rinse can or jar.
LID ON low simmer for 20 mins – stir occasionally.
PASTA – bring a medium to large pan of water to a rolling boil, add 1 tsp salt. COOK pasta according to packet instructions – taste to check when it is cooked to your liking. The quinoa pasta I like takes a good 15 minutes to cook. Drain cooked pasta.
ADD freshly cracker pepper. TASTE spice and salt level, adjust to your taste. TURN off the heat.
STIR in swiss chard. Put the lid back on and let rest for 5 mins. The residual heat will cook the swiss chard lightly.
FOLD cooked pasta into the sauce.
SERVE in bowls garnished with fresh parsley.
with a local hard mature cheese, pecorino or parmesan – freshly grated.
* SWAP PORK – use sausage or ground chicken, turkey or beef – from your local farmer, pasture-raised = conscious cooking.
PLANT-BASED use either lentils or a plant-based style ground meat substitute.
PASTA – I like quinoa pasta as it has “more nutritional bang for my bite” – you use what you like.
SWAP SWISS CHARD use kale, spinach, collards – cooking times will vary.
SWAP chilli my go to’s; cayenne, red pepper, chipotle, Urfa, Marash, Aleppo.
ADD MORE vegetables like diced zucchini, frozen peas, mushrooms.
MAKE-AHEAD this is almost better the next day as the flavours deepen.
FREEZES well, so make a double batch and freeze in portions