Spicy ground sausage, garlic saute'd kale, and ripe tomatoes tossed in a creamy Parmesan sauce with linguine pasta in under 30 minutes.
There is a "pasta dish template" I use time and time again because it addresses and solves every dinner time challenge in one dish. These dishes are quick, they are easy to make, they use accessible and seasonal ingredients, and they don't require any sides because it's all tossed into the pasta dish itself, like this light and lemony Summer Squash Pasta.
This recipe came about like most of my pasta recipes. The need for a a quick meal, without a lot of fussing over. And one that I don't need to serve with anything but a bowl and fork.
This time, I had some kale that needed to be used up and while kale isn't my all time favorite green (as far as salad greens go), I do love the way it cooks up without getting wilted and slimy. It's the perfect way to incorporate some healthy leafy greens into a dinner, right in the same skillet.
The addition of hot and spicy ground sausage keeps things interesting. At the end it all gets tossed together in a light cream and wine sauce, and sprinkled with a heavy handed palm-full of Parmesan.
**Note: It is said (and often debated) that you shouldn't cook acidic foods like tomatoes or wine on cast iron, because it can cause a metallic taste. Some people will argue that while you shouldn't for long periods of time, that it's fine for short periods of time, and especially if you have a good seasoning built up. Click here for more information on cast iron cooking.
how to make sausage and kale linguine
Start by frying the ground sausage until crispy. Set aside along with the chopped, rinsed kale as you prepare the rest of the ingredients in the pan. Drain excess grease from pan, leaving a little bit for sauteing the next ingredients. Also get your linguine pasta cooking at this time, and make sure to salt the water and drain once it's al dente (a couple minutes under tender.)
In the same pan the sausage was fried in, (now sitting aside with kale for later) add minced garlic and diced tomato. You should have some of the grease from the sausage reserved to do so. If not, use a couple tablespoons butter and saute until garlic is toasty and tomatoes begin to soften. They will eventually cook down to become almost part of the sauce, so don't expect to have noticeable chunks of tomato in the dish.
Add the wine and chicken stock and simmer for 5-7 minutes until reduced. Add the kale and saute until desired tenderness. Add the cooked pasta and fried sausage back into the pan and toss with heavy cream and freshly grated Parmesan until pasta is coated and everything is evenly mixed.
Remove from heat and serve.
Spicy Sausage and Kale Pasta
- 1 lb hot Italian ground sausage
- 1 lb linguine pasta-cooked to al dente set aside a cup of pasta cooking water
- 1 head kale chopped and rinsed
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1-2 medium tomatoes diced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cups chicken stock
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta to al dente (a minute or two under tender). Drain pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water (you may or may not use this at the end, if you prefer a thinner or thicker sauce).
- Remove kale from ribs (woody stems and veins), rinse clean and rough chop
- In a heavy skillet fry sausage until crispy; set aside.
- Drain grease but reserve a couple tablespoons in the pan.
- On medium high heat add minced garlic and tomato to pan; saute until garlic becomes fragrant and tomatoes become soft.
- Add white wine and stock to pan; simmer about 5 minutes until reduced.
- Add kale to pan and saute until leaves turn dark green and become soft. Reduce heat to low.
- Add the cooked pasta and fried sausage back to pan, toss to combine.
- Reduce heat to low. Add heavy cream and Parmesan; toss to coat pasta. Remove from heat and serve.