Sausage and Kale Pasta

From my episode on Instagram and social media and food, this is a recipe directly screencapped from Insta-stories, as you can see below. 

Since Deb Perlman post this recipe on her insta-stories I've made it at least three or four times. It's massively satisfying and a great way to use up any heart greens you have laying around. I've written the recipe out for your ease below, with a few suggestions based off my own experiences making this dish. 

Kale and Sausage Pasta

  • 1 lb of pasta, shells or other small shape
  • 1 to 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 5 oz. package of kale leaves, or 1 bunch of kale leaves*, either pre-cut or finely chopped

1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil, and cook your pasta in it until just 2 minutes shy of al dente. Reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking liquid, then drain your pasta and set each aside. 

2. In the bottom of your drained pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook your sausage in the oil once it's hot, adding in the garlic after the meat has begun to brown. Cook your sausage until it is fully done. 

3. Once your sausage is cooked, add in the kale leaves and cook until they have wilted. Be sure to season with plenty of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if you so desire. 

4. Once the kale is wilted, add a cup of your pasta cooking to the pan and the cooked pasta and bring your pan to a simmer. You can scrape along the bottom of the pan to help get any brown bits off the bottom.

5. Keep a close eye on the pasta and keep stirring to combine everything. It'll be done when the liquid has nearly evaporated and formed into a light silky sauce, in 2 to 5 minutes.

6. Once finished, plate pasta with more salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, as well as toasted breadcrumbs and shaved parmesan. 

Notes: Since I've made this a few times, here are some things I have changed. 1) When adding the cooking liquid to the sausage and kale, I've splashed in a glug of white wine for acidity. Additionally I think a squeeze of lemon juice or perhaps a bit of lemon zest would be amazing here. 2) I've also stirred in some grated fresh parmesan at the liquid step, to create a sort of cacio e pepe effect and give the dish even more umami. 

*I've done this with regular kale and dinosaur (lacinato) kale alike, both are delicious!