Monday, February 22, 2010

Pasta with Sausage and Kale...

I made a variation of this recipe Saturday night and I'll
certainly try to create it again. I am one of those cooks
that likes to experiment in the kitchen, but I never write
down a recipe. This definitely poses a problem whenever
you want to recreate a dish you've really enjoyed. This
version of Sausage and Kale Pasta comes from the wonderful
folks at We Are Never Full (link below). Not exactly my
recipe from Saturday night, but who knows what I threw
into that pan? I do know that I added a splash of heavy
cream at the end and did not use tomatoes. I also used
Filej Pasta instead of the Orecchiette. I really enjoy the
texture that the shape of Filej creates. It resembles thick
string beans and is chewy in texture. Enjoy!

6 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/2 large spanish onion, finely sliced
1 cayenne pepper (1/2 habanero), finely minced, or 2-3 good pinches dried red pepper flakes
1/2 head kale roughly chopped, stems on (just remove the last,woody inch of stems)
1lb sweet Italian pork sausage (with fennel, sage, or as we did tonight, cheese, rosemary and tomato)
3-4 ripe, medium tomatoes, cubed with seeds
1/4 cup dry white wine
4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2lb orecchiette (ear-shaped) pasta
4tbsp grated parmesan or romano cheese
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat saute pan to medium high and add a splash of olive oil just before adding sausage. Brown sausage on both sides, approx. 4 mins per side, and remove to a plate. Be sure to leave fat in pan!
Reduce heat to medium and add onions to pan and allow to soften in the fat. Just as they begin to brown add garlic and hot pepper. When garlic takes on a bit of color hit pan with the wine.
Add pasta to boiling, well-salted water. Bring back to a boil, cover and set timer for 8 minutes.
Turn heat back up to medium-high and add kale. Toss mixture together and after two minutes, reduce heat to medium again before adding tomatoes.
When tomatoes look like they’re collapsing into the sauce, add the sausage, and turn to medium low.
Check pasta is a little less cooked than al dente. Kill heat under pasta and turn heat to high under saucepan. Using a spider or a slotted spoon, add pasta to saucepan DO NOT POUR PASTA WATER AWAY.
Mix pasta and sauce together and add enough pasta water to lubricate the bottom of the pan. Cook for another minute or so on high, or until pasta is al dente and sauce looks silky.
Kill fire and add cheese. Spoon pasta into bowls and finish with a glug of really good olive oil and an extra sprinkle of cheese.
Image and recipe via

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