|This pasta dish might be the tastiest thing I've ever made with kale (so far!)|
I couldn't stop eating this pasta with hot Italian sausage, kale, garlic, and just a touch of red pepper flakes, so I'm posting the recipe right away as a Public Service Announcement for anyone who has kale in their garden or CSA box. I devoured this for lunch two days in a row, and I'm pretty sure I would have eaten it again the next day but my brother Rand stopped by and I gave him the leftovers. The recipe started as nothing more than an idea inspired by a huge bunch of kale I trimmed from my plants and some Colosimos Hot Italian Sausage leftover from a party that needed to be used. I looked at a few recipes that with kale and Italian sausage before deciding to make pasta, and then just made up the recipe as I went along. If you don't have kale I think you could also make this with spinach or chard, but the way the kale became tender and sweet in this dish will probably make a kale convert out of you if you're not sure whether you like it!
Utah's Colosimos Hot Italian Sausage is really flavorful and this recipe doesn't have a huge amount of sausage, but if you're making this for the South Beach Diet it would be best to use hot turkey Italian sausage. Saute the sausage in a tiny bit of olive oil until it's nicely browned.
In a very large frying pan put the olive oil, six large cloves of coarsely chopped fresh garlic, and some red pepper flakes. Turn on the heat and cook just until you can start to smell garlic. (Don't let the garlic brown.)
Then add 8 oz. of very thinly sliced kale leaves. (I didn't measure it but I'd say this is about 12 cups of thinly sliced kale. Next time I might even use more kale!)
Then add the browned sausage to the pan with 2 cups of homemade chicken stock (or use a can of chicken broth.) Turn this to low and let it simmer gently while you cook the pasta.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then cook the pasta according to package directions and drain, saving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. (I used Dreamfields Rotini, which I thought was perfect for this dish, but you could use any kind of whole wheat, gluten-free, or regular pasta of your choice. I'd pick a shape like this or a short pasta like penne.)
Gently combine the drained pasta with the kale/sausage mixture, adding as much of the pasta cooking water as you want to get the amount of moistness you prefer. (I used about half the water.)
Then mix in the coarsely grated Parmesan cheese and serve the pasta hot, with extra cheese to add at the table. (This kept overnight in the fridge very well and I just reheated it in the microwave in a glass dish covered with a paper towel.)
(Makes about 6 generous servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from many recipes she saw online.)
3 links (12 oz) hot Italian sausage (use hot turkey Italian sausage for South Beach Diet)
8 oz. kale leaves, thinly sliced (about 12 cups thinly sliced kale)
6 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped (I would not use garlic from a jar for this recipe)
3 T + 1-2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (use more or less to taste)
2 cups homemade chicken stock or 1 can chicken broth
1 pkg. (13.25 oz.) Dreamfields Rotini pasta (or use your favorite whole wheat, gluten-free, or regular pasta in a shape like this)
salt for pasta cooking water (at least 1 T)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Heat the 1 or 2 tsp. olive oil in a small frying pan, squeeze sausage out of casings, and cook until sausage is nicely browned, breaking apart with a turner as it cooks. (If you use hot turkey Italian sausage you'll need 2 tsp. of olive oil; sausage with more fat will not need as much oil.)
While the sausage is cooking, wash kale leaves and shake dry (they don't need to be perfectly dry.) Pile up a stack of leaves and then thinly slice them crosswise, continuing until you have about 12 cups of thinly sliced kale leaves. Slice the garlic cloves and then coarsely chop.
In a large heavy frying pan (big enough to hold all the pasta when it's cooked) put the 3 T olive oil, garlic, and hot pepper flakes. Turn heat to medium and cook until you can barely start to smell garlic, then add the thinly sliced kale. (Don't let the garlic brown.) Cook kale and garlic 2-3 minutes, turning over several times, until the kale is all wilted. Add chicken stock or broth and cooked sausage to the kale and lower heat to a gentle simmer. Let this simmer while you cook the pasta.
Fill a medium-large pot half full with water, add a generous amount of salt, and bring the water to a boil. Add pasta, stir, lower heat, and cook until barely al-dente, following package directions for cooking times. (I cooked the Dreamfields Rotini exactly 9 minutes.) Save 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta.
Gently mix the cooked pasta into the sausage/kale mixture, adding as much pasta cooking water as you think you need for it to be moist enough. (I used about half the water.) Then mix in the Parmesan cheese and serve pasta hot, with extra Parmesan cheese to add at the table.
This kept very well in the fridge overnight. I reheated it in the microwave in a glass bowl covered with a paper towel.
South Beach Suggestions:
If you're making this for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet, it's important to use hot turkey Italian sausage and Dreamfields or whole-grain pasta. Even with those cautions, this isn't a terribly low-fat dish due to the sausage, olive oil, and Parmesan so I would limit it to a moderate portion size with a big green salad on the side. (If you use Dreamfields pasta, remember that the glycemic index is increased when Dreamfields Pasta is reheated.)
More Tasty Ideas with Kale:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Red Russian Kale and Red Onion Savory Breakfast Squares from Kalyn's Kitchen
Kale and Feta Breakfast Casserole from Kalyn's Kitchen
Artichoke, Kale, and Ricotta Pie with Eggs and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Kale Chips with Sea Salt and Vinegar from Kalyn's Kitchen
Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with Whole Wheat Spaghetti Pieces from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Kale and Quinoa from Healthy Green Kitchen
16-Minute Kale and Mushroom Spaghetti from Foodie Reflections
Kale, Mushroom, and Quinoa Salad from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
Lentils with Fennel, Kale, and Sausage from Everybody Likes Sandwiches
Socca Crepe with Kale from Grow. Cook. Eat.
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)