Kale’s so hot right now. Right? Or are we over it? I mean it is kind of a winter green, but technically it’s spring now. Kidding. Regardless of what’s hot or not, or how unseasonably cold it still is outside (spring, where are you?!?), kale is tasty, full of nutrients and available year-round. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy kale, whether it’s baked kale chips or a Tuscan salad with currants and Parmesan in lemon vinaigrette. And now it’s pasta turn to get kale’d.
This is a comforting supper with some healthy ingredients. Chicken sausage replaces fatty pork and really helps cut down on the calories. Before I went on a kale kick, spinach was my go-to green. I still like spinach a lot (makes me feel like Popeye) but kale is just a wee bit healthier – see why here in this food face-off. Organic brown rice pasta is a great gluten-free option too.
In our house, we’re big fans of spicy food so lot of crushed red pepper flakes make their way into most pasta dishes, but I’ve only added a touch in the recipe for a bit of kick. For a kid-friendly version, the chili flakes can be omitted completely. For a dairy-free version, use Toffuti’s Better than Cream Cheese instead of grated fresh Parmesan.
Kale and Sausage Pasta
- 4 turkey or chicken sausages (removed from casings (about 1.25 lbs))
- 1 bunch kale (about 12 ounces, washed, stems removed and chopped)
- 1 shallot (minced)
- 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes (optional)
- 12 ounces gluten-free pasta
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free cream cheese or grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add sausage and break up with wooden spoon. Cook until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil to pan and add shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic, anchovy paste, kale, chili flakes, and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Add cooked pasta to kale mixture. Add ¼ cup of reserved pasta water and cream cheese (or parmesan cheese) and stir until pasta is evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more pasta water if needed. Garnish with parmesan cheese (if using), additional chili flakes and truffle oil.