So I'm totally obsessed with Amaranth greens at the moment.
I love discovering and learning about new ingredients and I've been using the Kong Thao CSA box which ships me the "peak of the season" Asian greens every week. I'm discovering a whole bunch of vegetables that I've never worked with before!The raw greens are totally gorgeous and often feature stunning purple leaves. You can eat the younger leaves from the greens raw but you should definitely cook the older leaves.
You can easily cook a very deliciously simple stir dry, featuring just garlic and it would taste great, I haven't seen it used in pasta before and it pairs perfectly to a pasta.
You can also eat the thinner stems on the vegetable but cut off the thicker, woodier stems before eating.
Amaranth greens are classified as a herb but I am using them in a dish just like any other green vegetables, similar to how the leaves are used in a Thai basil chicken for example.
You can find amaranth in most supermarkets. When shopping, you don't want to purchase a more mature plant with flowers sprouting, this means that the plant is too old and won't be so tasty.
The taste when cooked is most similar to spinach and when stir fried, it reminds me of stir-fried snow pea leaves.
Quick and Easy Amaranth Greens and Sausage Pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 6 oz spicy Italian sausage (diced) substitute with any kind of sausage
- 4 cups amaranth leaves
- 1 tbsp lemon
- parmesan cheese to taste
- salt to taste
- 4 oz linguine you can substittue with any pasta of your choice
- 1/4 cup cooked pasta water
Boil water for pasta while prepping ingredents. Once the water is boiling, put in the pasta and start on the steps below.
Heat pan. Add olive oil and warm. Add garlic and saute for 20 seconds until fragrant
Add sausage and cook until no longer pink
Add amaranth leaves and saute for 1 minute
Turn the heat to medium low and cover for 2 minutes
Add cooked pasta directly into the pan. Add lemon.
Add pasta water and parmesan to taste. Plate and serve immeiately.
Let's get started! While your pasta water is boiling, go ahead and prep and chop all your ingredients.
Prep the amaranth greens by washing the leaves thoroughly, then separating the leaves from the heavier, woody stems. You can leave the smaller stems, they are totally edible and quite delicious.
Once you put the pasta in the boiling water, its time to get cooking!
Heat up the pan and once its hot, put on the garlic and saute until fragrant. Next up, add your sausage and cook until no longer pink.
Spicy Italian sausage pairs great with this recipe but you can use literally any sausage that you have on hand and it would work. The sausage pictured here is an apple smoked chicken sausage, I really liked the extra fruity flavor that it added.
After you've cooked your sausage a bit, add in all of the amaranth greens and saute for 1-2 minutes.
On medium low heat, put a cover on the pan and cook for 2 minutes, until the greens and become soft.
Add the cooked pasta directly into the pan from the boiling pot. Also add in 1/4 cup of pasta water, which helps make the delicious flavors from the pan stick to the pasta.
Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and salt to taste.
Top it all off with a heaping handful of parmesan (or more, its totally up to you!)
Plate and serve immediately.