Homemade Pasta with Sausage and Kale

Usually when I’m making up my menu for the weekend I have to go to the store and get quite a few ingredients.  Not for this recipe!!  I had some fresh kale in the fridge (my new-found love).  I had sausage, home-made pasta, and home-made chicken stock in the freezer so I was good to go!  Not only was this easy and fairly quick .. but it was incredibly good.  Sometimes recipes with the simplest of ingredients turn out surprisingly full of flavor.  Enjoy!


1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 lb turkey or pork sausage, casings discarded and sausage crumbled
3/4 lb kale, tough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 lb bowtie pasta, or pasta of your choice
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
zest of 1 lemon
1 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving


Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, add chopped garlic, then cook sausage, breaking up any lumps with a spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, blanch kale in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water , uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove kale with a large sieve and drain. Return cooking water in pot to a boil, then cook pasta in boiling water, uncovered, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.

While pasta cooks, add kale to sausage in skillet and sauté, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add hot pepper flakes, and broth, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water to skillet, tossing until combined. Stir in cheese and lemon zest and thin with additional cooking water if desired.

Serve immediately, with additional cheese on the side.


Pasta Salad

This is my husband’s favorite salad! He could eat this every day of the week! I make this with about 4-5 cloves of garlic (we love garlic!) The fresh basil and garlic really make this salad stand out!  I have used penne pasta and my homemade bow ties with excellent results. Enjoy!

Pasta Salad with Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives
Bon Appétit | August 2000

Yield: Makes 8 servings

6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 garlic clove, minced

1 pound fusilli pasta
12 ounces tomatoes, coarsely chopped
8 ounces fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup minced pitted oil-cured black olives

Blend first 5 ingredients in processor until tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Set dressing aside.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Add dressing to hot pasta; toss to coat. Cool, stirring occasionally. Add chopped fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, Parmesan and olives; toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)