Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pasta with Kale, Sausage & Cream

The cool October weather has no effect on my Lacinato Kale plants. This is the first year we've grown Kale and I am officially a convert. Besides the fact that kale is so healthy to eat, it is a beautiful plant: deep blue green and almost prehistoric looking. The plants are about 4-feet tall now and I have plans in the near future to blanch and freeze all the leaves so I can eat it throughout the winter months.

You may be suspicious at how much kale 6 large leaves actually looks like but have no fear for it cooks down quite a bit. The bitterness of the kale along with the spicy sausage and the sweetness of the cream makes for a satisfying and indulgent fall dinner.

I normally don't give wine suggestions but the wine we drank with this pasta was so right on, it deserves to be passed on to you. It was a 2007 di Lenardo Vineyards Pinot Bianco which retailed for around $14. It cut right through the cream and spiciness and delivered clear, refreshing notes of fruit while still being quite crisp.

To serve 4-6:

  • 1 pound pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 hot Italian sausages, removed from casing (about 3/4 of a pound)
  • 6 large leaves Lacinato Kale, center ribs discarded
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
  • Parmesan Cheese, for garnishing

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions, reserving half a cup of pasta water before the pasta is drained.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and when hot, add the garlic. Stir for 30 seconds then add the sausage and break up the meat as it is being cooked. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.

While the sausage is cooking, roughly chop the kale into large, bite-sized pieces. Add it to the pan with the sausage in batches, stirring frequently, adding additional kale as it cooks down. When all the kale is incorporated, cook the mixture for about 3-4 minutes more.

Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the liquid is reduced by half. Turn the heat down to medium, add the cream and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the basil and season to taste with kosher salt.

Toss the pasta with the sausage mixture and reserved pasta water, if needed. Spoon the pasta into bowls and garnish with slices of shaved Parmesan.


Hilary said...

Sausage, greens and pasta is a favourite combo of mine. Yep, kale is sooo healthy! (Makes up for the sausage, I guess :)

Tangled Noodle said...

I wasn't much of a veggie-lover as a child but I'm so happy that my tastes have changed as an adult! Kale is downright delicious and even more so when paired with creamy pasta and savory sausages, as you've done here. I crave this!

Anonymous said...

YUM! I love kale with sausage, but usually pair them with rice or potatoes, I shall definitely be trying this soon.

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