Sausage and Kale Pasta
adapted from Taste of Home Cooking
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 lb bulk Italian sausage
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed well (can omit if sausage already has fennel)
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 quart water or stock
- 8 ounces small shaped pasta (medium shells and orecchiette both work well)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, finely chopped
- Grated parmesan, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sausage and saute until cooked through, stirring occasionally and breaking up the sausage as it browns, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the garlic, basil, oregano, crushed fennel seed (if using), and red pepper flakes. Cook for another minute.
Pour the water (or stock) into the sausage mixture and bring to a boil. Be sure to scrape up the browned bits off of the bottom of the pan. Once the liquid is boiling, add the pasta. Cook, stirring every so often to prevent the pasta from sticking together or to the bottom of the pan, about 12 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
Stir the kale into sausage mixture until it wilts, about 1-2 minutes. Ladle pasta into bowls and top with grated parmesan.
This was outstanding. I’ve always wanted to nail down a great sausage and kale pasta, but the only way I ever attempted it was with a tomato-based sauce. Ummm. Not so great. The minute I saw this one, though, I knew it was what I was looking for. This was utterly delicious in all its beautiful one-pot, few-ingredient simplicity. Even Steve, a hesitant kale fan, was demolishing this. I’m really happy to have this one for my archive!