Old pasta recipes not doing the trick? Want something new to liven up that old spaghetti, tomato, and meat ménage à trois? This easy-peasy weekday meal will pep up your pasta patterns. Slightly spicy sausage melds with a sauce of herbs and spicy pepper flakes (and tomatoes; we don't want to take away everything traditional). Swiss chard's in the mix, as well as a topping of herbaceous ricotta, which adds a cheesy creaminess both familiar and excitingly new.
Stem and mince oregano. Mince garlic. Core tomatoes and cut into ¼" dice. Stem Swiss chard and finely chop leaves. Combine ricotta, half the oregano (reserve remaining for tomato sauce), and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until plating. On a separate cutting board, remove Italian sausage from casing.
Cook the Pasta
Add pasta to boiling water. Cook until al dente, 7-9 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander. While pasta cooks, sear sausage.
Sear the Sausage
Heat a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp. olive oil and Italian sausage to hot pan. Cook, breaking into small pieces, until no pink remains, 4-6 minutes.
Make the Sauce
Add garlic, red pepper flakes (to taste), and tomato paste to pan with Italian sausage. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, remaining oregano, and pasta cooking water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium, and cook until slightly thickened, 3-5 minutes.
Toss the Pasta
Stir pasta, Swiss chard, and Parmesan (reserve a pinch for garnish) into pan with sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Plate the Dish
Place a serving of pasta on a plate. Top with herbed ricotta and remaining Parmesan.