By peoplestaff225
Updated December 08, 2020 01:10 PM

A variety of dishes, desserts and the occasional salad make their way onto Mindy Kaling‘s Instagram but her followers recently found out the actress’ number one entrée of choice — and we have the recipe.

Kaling recently called the Orecchiette with Fennel Sausage and Swiss Chard from Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton’s Los Angeles restaurant Osteria Mozza one of her “favorite foods.”

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The big reveal came when she shared a photo of her Mindy Project costar Ike Barinholtz — who happens to be quite the foodie as well according to his Instagram — preparing it for her.

“Ike said he had mastered this recipe and long ago I spoke of my desire to try it,” she captioned the collage of three images. “So as a news gift he came over with an enormous tub of it and heated it up for me and @soniakharkar. All while his adorable baby wanted to be carried.”

“What a life, what an Ike,” she added.

And since we’d pretty much do and eat anything she told us to, we adapted chef Silverton’s recipe for the home cook. (She, of course, makes everything from scratch — including the pasta, chicken stock and fennel sausage — so you know it’s that good.)

So in the words of Kaling, “Mangia!”

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Orecchiette with Fennel Sausage and Swiss Chard

1 bunch Swiss chard
¼ cup plus 3 tbsp. extra- virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
½ large yellow Spanish onion, thinly sliced
12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 dried arbol chiles
¾ lb. fennel sausage
½ tsp. aleppo pepper
1 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
12 oz. orecchiette
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tbsp. bread crumbs, toasted

1. To prepare the chard, pull the leaves from the ribs. Roughly chop the leaves and set aside. Cut off and discard the very ends of the ribs and slice the ribs ¼-inch thick.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium- high heat until it is almost smoking and slides easily in the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chard ribs, season with salt, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until barely translucent. Add the onion, garlic, and chiles, and season with salt. Sauté the vegetables for about 10 minutes, adding water to the pan (as much as 1 cup total), stirring often to prevent the vegetables browning. (You add water to the pan so you can sauté and sweat the onion without browning it, but you never want the onion swimming in water—just enough so the pan isn’t dry.)

3. Add the chard leaves, season with salt, and fold the leaves in with the onion for 1 or 2 minutes to wilt them slightly. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the chard leaves are very dark green and the onion, leaves, and stems are one soft, homogenous mixture. Turn the vegetables out onto a cutting board and chop, cutting first in one direction and then perpendicular to the first direction, until the vegetables are finely chopped to the point of being almost pureed. Measure out a heaping ¼ cup of the vegetables for the pasta dish. Use the rest as an excuse to prepare this dish again in the very near future, or spoon a heaping spoonful under a piece of grilled fish.

4. To make the sauce, heat a sauté pan over high heat for about 2 minutes until it’s very hot. Add the sausage to the pan and cook it undisturbed for about 2 minutes, until the meat is seared. Stir the meat and cook for another 4 minutes, breaking it into pea- size pieces, until it is cooked through. Add the chopped chard and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to warm it through, stirring the chard into the sausage as it cooks. Sprinkle the pepper over the chard and sausage, add the chicken stock, and cook the sauce for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, to bring the ingredients together. Add the butter, stir until it melts, and turn off the heat while you cook the pasta. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

5. Drop the pasta into the boiling water, and cook the pasta until it’s al dente according to package directions. About 1 minute before the pasta is done, place the sauce over high heat. Lift the pasta out of the cooking water or drain it and immediately add it to the pan with the sauce. Cook the pasta with the sauce together for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the sauce is thick, adding fresh water to the pan if the pasta looks dry or sticky instead of slippery and glistening. Turn off the heat and add the finishing-quality olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and fennel pollen, stirring vigorously and shaking the pan to emulsify the sauce.

6. Pile the orecchiette in the center of each of eight plates, dividing it evenly, and spoon any sauce left in the pan over the pasta. Sprinkle a generous tbsp. of bread crumbs over each serving, and serve with the remaining bread crumbs on the side.

Ana Calderone