I’ve shared about recipes similar to this in the past, but the proportions on this Rigatoni with Kale and Sausage 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.
Wine Pairing: When we made the Rigatoni with Kale and Sausage again to take some new photos in October 2015, we paired this with a Tenuta la Falcona Cavrine ($13, 13% ABV) from Veneto, Italy. The wine features grapes common to the Veneto region–Corvina, Rondinala and Molinara, along with Sangiovese. The wine is a good value and goes well with the dish.Print
Rigatoni with Kale and Sausage
Kale simmers with tomatoes and sausage for a healthy, substantial pasta dish.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
- 4 fresh garlic cloves, minced (or if you have roasted garlic on hand, try using 2 fresh garlic cloves along with a tablespoon or so roasted garlic)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- handful of fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 Andouille sausages (fairly small ones, I used Niman Ranch, probably about ½ lb total)
- 12 ounces rigatoni or other short pasta shape
- ¼ 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 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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 basil and oregano, sausage, roasted garlic if using it, salt and tomato paste. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer covered. Let the kale simmer for a good 20 minutes, taking the cover off toward the end to thicken the sauce a bit.
- 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!
For more recipes featuring kale and other healthy greens, be sure to check out the Collards & Kale Cookbook!
[…] GET THE RECIPE […]
[…] The key to cooking kale for a pasta recipe like this is to braise the kale, a technique I first learned from this Food & Wine recipe. First you brown the sausages in the skillet and set them aside. Then sauté some onions in the skillet, and get them nice and soft, before adding garlic. The kale gets added next, in a few batches. This Rigatoni with Sausage and Kale recipe is made without tomatoes; in this version we use some white wine as the braising liquid. You can also use chicken stock instead of wine in this recipe. If you want to use some tomatoes for braising the kale, you can follow this recipe here. […]