Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sausage and Kale Pasta

Sausage and Kale Pasta


1 lb bulk Italian sausage (I use my homemade version)
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 bunch kale, leaves pulled from the ribs, very finely chopped/minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan
8 ounces dried penne


Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking into chunks with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 or 6 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, basil, oregano and salt to the pan. Saute for another 3 or 4 minutes until the onion just starts to turn soft. Add the crushed tomatoes and water, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up any stuck bits. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the penne and cook until just shy of al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta into a colander and set aside.

Add the tomato sauce to the pan, stir through, and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pan along with the reserved pasta and the kale. Stir until the greens have wilted. Remove from heat, then stir in the grated cheese.

Serve immediately with more grated parm and red pepper flakes at the table.


Hearty, savory, oh so good. Perfect for a cold night. Totally my version of comfort food - anything with sausage and greens.

This is one of those recipes that I made four or five times before getting it exactly how I wanted it to be. Problems ranged from the greens being too clumped and not incorporating well into the sauce (this was every time until now), to the sauce not being tomatoey enough to it being too thin to too bland to... well, now it's right. Really, really craveably right.

Note: my homemade Italian sausage is rather fennely, so if you use a store bought version that doesn't have any, I recommended adding a couple of teaspoons of crushed fennel seeds when you add the sausage to the pot.


Anonymous said...

No printer friendly version? =/

Melissa said...

Aw. Sorry, no, I've never done anything like that for my blog. Perhaps I should?

Sarah Barkai (AKA Reznor) said...

Left a comment on your other blog, not sure you go there so much. Just looking you up, glad to see you're doing good :)

StephenC said...

You are living proof of the adventure life can be. I can sympathize with much of what you described in your other blog. And, since we're into food at this site, I am in love with just my imagining the flavor of your sausage and kale and pasta.

Melissa said...

What a lovely comment to leave me, Stephen. I so appreciate it. Thank you for reading, both here and on the other one. :)

nilanjana majumdar said...

This pasta was served at a party I attended the other night. My husband & I had huge servings! We could not stop talking about it the next day so I was trying to hunt down the recipe. Can’t believe I fell upon this blog – thank you for the recipe! I am going to make this for dinner tonight!

Melissa said...

Fantastic! Hope you enjoy it. :)