Veggie-Loaded Pasta with Sausage
Yield: 4-6 servings
When you add the kale, it will seem like too much, but the hearty greens cook down a lot. Sometimes I add a ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the vegetables while sautéing. You may also experiment with a few pinches of dried herbs like oregano, Italian seasoning or a grating of fresh nutmeg. In season, fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, parsley and chives are a welcome addition.
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces dried pasta (I like a short tubular pasta like rotini; use GF if needed)
  • 12 ounces Andouille or sweet Italian chicken or turkey sausage, sliced diagonally ¼” thick
  • 1½ teaspoons olive oil (plus an extra drizzle as needed)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • ½ a yellow onion, sliced root to tip
  • 1 large bunch (~12 ounces) kale, tough stems stripped and cut into ¼ inch strips
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta in salted water as per package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12- to 14-inch skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the sausage slices until lightly browned, 7-8 minutes. Remove to a plate.
  3. Add the bell pepper and onion to the skillet (add an extra drizzle of oil if the pan is dry), and cook, stirring occasionally and sprinkling with a little salt and pepper, until the onion begins to brown, 4-5 minutes. Add the kale (in batches if necessary) and another sprinkle of salt and pepper, and stir until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Stir and simmer a minute or two, to reduce and concentrate just a bit. (You don’t want it to cook off.)
  4. When cooked, drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add the sausage, vegetable mixture, cheese and additional salt and pepper to taste. (I usually add about 1 teaspoon total salt and ¼–½ teaspoon pepper to this dish.) Toss to combine and serve.
Notes

*I opt for Lacinato or Dinosaur kale when available, as it’s less fibrous than curly kale. Its stems are also more tender and can be quite tasty! (Don’t hesitate to make this recipe with curly kale, however; it’s still quite good.) If you’d like to make use of the stems, dice them and sauté with the onions and peppers so they become tender. They taste just like the leaves and provide a hint of welcome crispness.

Helpful hint: For added ease at dinnertime, chop/slice the all the vegetables and the sausage in advance and store in produce bags or containers of choice.

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