Camille Styles

From Camille's Kitchen

Tuesday Tastings: Cavatappi, Sausage & Kale

September 11th, 2012

Cavatappi with Sausage & Kale | Camille Styles

Over the past year, I’ve slowly and stealthfully been converting Adam from a kale-hater to a total convert, and this pasta is one of our current favorite ways to incorporate the superfood into delicious dinners. I mean, what’s not to love about a pasta with chunky, slightly-creamy tomato sauce, lots of garlic and salty parmesan grated on top of it all? We do disagree on one thing, however: Adam thinks this dish resembles a super gourmet, healthier version of Hamburger Helper; an idea that I find totally disgusting. But I digress… Anyway, the key to keeping this dinner healthy not heavy is using a high kale-to-pasta ratio – and don’t forget that kale dramatically shrinks down when cooked, so start out using way more than you think the dish needs. I know that one-pot dinners like this are going to become especially loved at our house in these post-baby days. They come together fast, feel so cozy for the coming fall and winter seasons, and most importantly, require minimal clean-up. Do y’all have any go-to one pot meals that you’d love to share? Leave a comment to let us know, and keep reading for the recipe! 

Cavatappi with Sausage & Kale | Camille Styles

Cavatappi with Sausage & Kale

*serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 lb spicy italian sausage, casings discarded
  • 1/2 lb kale, tough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 lb dried cavatappi, cavatelli or gemelli
  • 28 oz can whole tomatoes in puree
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 1 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano


Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook shallot & garlic a couple minutes, stirring well so that garlic doesn’t burn. Add sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring salted cooking water to a boil, then cook pasta uncovered until al dente.

While pasta cooks, add kale and 1/4 cup water to sausage in skillet and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until the kale is tender and wilting. Drain off a couple tablespoons of tomato purée from the can, then add entire can of tomatoes, breaking up w/ back of spoon so the tomatoes are in large chunky pieces. Simmer for a few minutes. Add a few swirls of half & half and stir into sauce. Add pasta to skillet, tossing until well-combined. Season with salt & pepper and top with grated parmesan.

*images by Camille

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9 Comments under :: Tuesday Tastings: Cavatappi, Sausage & Kale
  1. Elizabeth says:

    This looks so good! I love your recipes and my family does too! I do wish I could print them off as a PDF instead of printing off the blog post. Maybe I’m not doing something right?

  2. Catherine says:

    We tried this! Was DELISH! We did it veg style and left out the sausage, added more greens. I have to say, we had leftovers the next day and it was even tastier then because everything had the night to meld together. xo

  3. Emily says:

    Kale and cavatappi – a winning combination. Can’t wait to have this in my mouth.

  4. Alice says:

    I made this tonight for my family and it was a hit! It was so delicious and I loved the kale and sausage combination! Thank you so much for such a great recipe! It will be my go-to for quick and easy dinners.

  5. Just made this the other night, and it was Fantastic! I made a couple of small tweaks to the recipe:
    I used bucatini pasta instead of cavatappi (what we had in the cabinet) It was dope.
    2 cloves garlic (I love the stuff)
    Spicy Italian chicken sausage in place of pork
    pinch of dried oregano and pinch of red pepper flakes
    Fire roasted tomatoes in lieu of the regular kind. And after adding the tomatoes, but before adding the h&h, I filled the tomato can about 3/4 full with water and added to the pan, then allowed that to reduce so the kale, tomato, shallot, meat sauce could intensify a bit.
    Other than that, made as is and just LOVED it. Thanks for a great, healthy recipe!

    • Great tweaks – garlic never hurts, only helps! And I’ve become a total fire-roasted tomatoes convert. I almost always sub them for the regular kind now! Thanks for sharing Lindsay! xo

  6. Sue Patterson says:

    Sorry for my Aussie ignorance but what is h&h?

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