Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rigatoni with Kale and Sausage

kale and sausage sauce simmering in pot

I've shared about recipes similar to this in the past, but the proportions on this came out just right, so it seemed worth sharing. Not to mention I'm overdue for a blog post here! Kale and sausage often mean kale soup around here, but I do like featuring these ingredients in a hearty pasta dish, too.

1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
4 roasted garlic cloves, smashed (I had them on hand, you could just use the fresh garlic if you like, but increase the quantity if you do that)
1 onion, chopped
14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
handful of basil and oregano, chopped
2 Andouille sausages (fairly small ones, I used Niman Ranch, probably about 1/2 lb total)
12 ounces rigatoni or other short pasta shape
1/4 cup shredded cheese, I used a combo of cheddar and gouda that I was trying to use up
extra parmesan cheese at the table for serving
2 tbsp olive oil
dash of salt

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan. Add the sausages, turn them over occasionally, to get them browned. This takes 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the sausages and set aside. When the sausages cool, slice them in half lengthwise then cut slices across, to create half circles.

Add another tbsp of the olive oil to the pan, heat on medium. Add the onions, cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the fresh garlic, cook for another minute. Add the kale in batches, stirring it in with the onions and garlic, letting it start to wilt a bit to create room for more. Once all the kale is in, add the chicken stock and tomatoes, the fresh herbs, sausage, salt and tomato paste. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer covered. Let the kale simmer for a good 30 minutes, taking the cover off toward the end to thicken the sauce a bit.

rigatoni being stirred in pot with kale and sausage sauce

Cook the pasta according to package instructions while the kale simmers, aiming to have it done around the same time as the sauce. Add the drained pasta to the pot with the kale, stir to combine thoroughly. Stir in the cheese, serve with a bit of parmesan at the table, and enjoy!

rigatoni with kale and sausage served for dinner