Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pasta topped with Kale, Spicy Sausage & Cherry Tomatoes

               I am proud to say that I make a weekly “list” for the food store and farmers’ market and stick to it 98% of the time. Now I realize this is a tough, um perhaps impossible, task for those of you with kiddies or partners that tag along and want everything in sight, but I tend to go solo and stick to my plan. However, the other day something popped out at me that wasn’t on the list and I couldn’t turn it down. It just looked so darn delicious, fresh, and inviting. What was it you ask?????……KALE!  Yes, you read that right, it was kale, that fibrous, dark green vegetable that most would rather stuff in the garbage than in their mouth. But to me, it was practically glowing. I had to have it and I had to have it that night for dinner. Now usually I make kale sautéed with kielbasa and pierogies, but that would be too much deviating from the “list” for one day! I told you I’m kinda odd, right?…..Anyway, I looked in my cart and came up with this recipe.  In the end, the kale was cooked just enough so that it still hung on to its texture yet the bitterness was cut by the spicy  sausage crumbles. Cherry tomatoes added to the broth while also counteracting against the heartiness of the greens and sausage. The dish also came together pretty quickly which made for one happy shopper!

Pasta topped with Kale, Spicy Sausage, & Cherry Tomatoes
Serves: 2-4

OBJ: TCW be able to include a wintery green in a light, broth-based, pasta dish

1 bunch of Kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
2 links spicy sausage, casing removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
½ pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half
½ C dry white wine ( I use Pinot Grigio, but use what you booze!)
½ lb Gemelli or other non-hollowed pasta
½  TBS unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Reserved pasta water
S & P: salt and pepper
½ C grated Parmesan cheese

1. Boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1 C pasta water
2. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 TBS oil over medium heat
3. Add sausage links and use a wooden spoon to break up into “crumbles” and let brown, stirring and breaking apart sausage frequently, about 10-15 minutes
4. Remove sausage to a paper towel-lined plate, drain extra oil but make sure to leave enough to coat bottom of pan
Oh those yummy crumbles.....
5. Add 2 TBS olive oil to same pan, add garlic, a pinch S & P, and turn heat down to medium low, let garlic cook for about 8 minutes
6. Add wine and turn heat up, bring to a boil and let reduce, about 5 minutes
7. Add tomatoes, kale, another pinch S & P, and ¼ C pasta water to pan and cover, then turn heat to medium low (FYI, at this point I would be adding my pasta to boiling water)
8. After about 5 minutes, uncover pan, press the tomatoes down with a fork to release juices, add sausage and toss kale well with all ingredients. Then, add butter, cover again and let cook for another 5 minutes
10. Remove lid, add ¼ C parmesan cheese, another ¼ C pasta water and mix
11. Add pasta to pan, toss well and if needed add ¼ C pasta water for more broth. Sprinkle with additional ¼ C parmesan cheese and serve!

Isn't she gorgeous?!?!?


  1. This is good looking kale, I'll give you that ;)

  2. lovely picture of stephanie. i admire your shopping strategy!!!! i also made kale this week. love it. i served it as a side with chic parm. it was blanched then sauteed with garlic and shallots. yummy i will try your pasta dish looks very good. the market is a great place to find fresh and local produce. look forward to your next recipe. always creative and enjoyable :)