Alright so here’s a dish that had me salivating once I thought of it. I saw the kale first in the store and, as always, it looked so vibrant and tantalizing. I placed it in my cart and got to thinking. I usually toss kale with pierogies and browned kielbasa, but since I didn’t feel like making a trip to the Polish deli down my street, I had to think of something else. Soup automatically came to mind, however I’m not really a soup eater unless you put it in front of me! Haha….Anyway, so soup was out and I continued to think…..Then, what do you know, I looked up and I was in my favorite aisle, the pasta aisle! So to make a long story short, I grabbed a box and figured I could either toss it with bacon or sausage to round out the meal.
So I got home, decided to go with sausage, prepped what I needed, and began to cook. Now here comes the twist…..I usually, no always is more like it, have a bottle of Pinot Grigio in my fridge. Sadly though, this week all I had was a bottle of Verdi, a sparkling sweet white wine that would have to do. Honestly, I was a little tentative because me and my Pinot are hard to separate in the kitchen, but I went with it and used the sole vino I had.
Result? A remarkably sweet pasta dish that was hearty & satisfying. The broth that was created from the wine, broth, tomatoes and pasta water was refreshingly light yet the sausage flavors came through with a defined taste and texture. The kale softened up perfectly and created a nice counterpart to the al-dente rigatonis. All in all, a definite keeper in my book…..Enjoy…..
Rigatoni with Kale & Crumbled Sausage
OBJ: TCW be able to soften & sweeten up what is normally a tough and bitter green
½ lb (8 oz.) rigatoni pasta
1 bunch kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 sausage links, casings removed (I used 1 sweet and 1 hot, but it’s up to you)
1 pint grape tomatoes, ½ the pint halved, other left whole
½ C sweet white wine or whatever white wine you have on hand
¼ C reduced sodium chicken broth
½ TBS unsalted butter
S & P: salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes, optional
1. Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions, reserving ½ C pasta water
2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, sausage & a pinch S & P to pan, cook for about 10 minutes, breaking apart the sausage into crumbles as you cook. Crumbles should be browned when done
3. Remove sausage from pan to a paper towel-lined plate
4. Add wine and chicken broth to pan and turn heat to high, bring wine and broth to boil, stir well to get up “bits” from bottom, then lower flame to allow wine and broth to simmer and reduce, about 3 minutes
5. Add tomatoes and another pinch S & P to pan, stir and cover over medium-low flame for 2-3 minutes
6. Add kale, butter, another pinch S & P, and stir to combine, cover for 10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes to toss kale and crush tomatoes
7. Add sausage to kale sauté and stir well, cover for 2-3 minutes
8. Add drained pasta, ½ C pasta water and a generous pinch of Parmesan to sauté and toss well to combine all ingredients ( add red pepper flakes here if using)
9. Cover and bring to table to serve!