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
- 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