Kale to the Chef

Friday, July 31, 2009

second night of experimenting with greens -- Kale.

This meal was great, in my opinion much better than the collard greens -- although it was not exactly a scientific comparison, since the recipes were considerably different, its possible that the collard greens would have been equally delicious in this recipe:

  • 1 lb. mild country sausage

  • 1/2 lb. kale, tough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

  • 1 lb. whole wheat spiral pasta

  • 1 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving


  1. Cook sausage, breaking up any lumps with a spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, blanch kale in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove kale from water with tongs and place on paper towels.

  3. Return cooking water in pot to a boil, then cook pasta in boiling water, uncovered, until al dente. Reserve 2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.

  4. While pasta cooks, add kale to sausage in skillet and sauté, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 5 minutes.

  5. Add about a cup of the reserved cooking water to skillet, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water to skillet, tossing until combined.

  6. Stir in cheese and thin with additional cooking water if desired.

  7. Serve immediately, with additional cheese on the side.

based mostly on this recipe from here. The original called for cooking the sausage in olive oil -- seriously? Since when does sausage need extra fat? Now maybe if I was going to use ground turkey or something, I might add the oil, but in this case I left it out. I also had no need of adding chicken broth -- it already suggested using the kale-y, noodle-y, boiling water, so I just added a little extra and skipped having to open a can of chicken broth just to get 2/3 cup.

With greens and whole wheat pasta, this dish would probably be whole lot healthier with a leaner ground meat, though that may significantly impact the flavor -- that experiment will have to wait for another day.

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