Sausage and Wild Garlic Meatballs with Chard and Orzo

Serves: 4

Sausage and Wild Garlic Meatballs with Chard and Orzo
Sausage and Wild Garlic Meatballs with Chard and Orzo Sausage and Wild Garlic Meatballs with Chard and Orzo

I’d had some wild garlic pesto knocking around the fridge, some sausages which needed cooking and my Swiss chard was on the point of bolting so it was a case of use it or lose it. Such is the way so many recipes-or mine at least-are developed. The odd thing is, on the very same day the weather took a turn for the worse, the skies were leaden and the wind bitter and this bowl of savoury comfort was exactly what I wanted and needed to eat. Keen meat eaters may want to add a couple more sausage to the recipe and you can use a classic (homemade please) pesto if you haven’t managed to make a wild garlic version. You can find the recipe for wild garlic pesto in the Sauces section on the website.

Ingredients

  • 6 pork sausages
  • 2 tablespoons wild garlic pesto plus extra for serving
  • ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 200g Swiss chard, washed and dried
  • 200g orzo pasta
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 100ml whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sausage and Wild Garlic Meatballs with Chard and Orzo

Method

  1. Slit the sausages and remove the skins. Put the sausagemeat in a bowl and add the pesto. Mix well until thoroughly incorporated. With slightly damp hands roll the mixture into 12 balls.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan or large frying pan which has a lid, and brown the meatballs for 7-8 minutes, turning the balls regularly to colour evenly. Transfer to a dish.
  3. Cut the chard stalks from the leaves and roughly chop each separately. Pour off all but about one tablespoon of fat and over a low heat add the stalks to the pan. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring often. Add the leaves and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir in the orzo and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, stir, turn the heat down and cover the pan with a lid. Leave to simmer for five minutes.
  4. Add the meatballs to the pan and continue to cook (lid on) for about 12-15 minutes until the orzo is cooked but still has a little bite. Stir in the cream and lemon juice and taste and season with salt and ground black pepper. Just before serving sprinkle the dish with flat-leaf parsley and a tablespoon or two of wild garlic pesto.
Sausage and Wild Garlic Meatballs with Chard and Orzo