This Sausage Kale and Beans Pasta dish is an easy one pot meal, perfect for a weeknight. Vegetarians can simply omit the sausage, double the beans and use vegetable broth instead in chicken broth. Adapted from Cook’s Country, October/November 2013. The recipe appeared in a February 2015 column, “Cook for Your Loved Ones.”
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed, sausage broken into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped fine
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
1 to 2 cups water
8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) orecchiette or small shells
8 ounces kale, stems removed and chopped into small pieces
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
Salt and pepper
HEAT 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and cook until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onion and beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, fennel seeds, oregano and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
STIR in broth and 1 cup water and bring a boil. Stir in pasta and half of kale. Add up to 1 more cup water if needed to make sure pasta is submerged. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 4 minutes. Without stirring, place remaining kale on top of pasta. Cover and continue to cook until kale is just tender, about 4 minutes.
STIR to incorporate kale into pasta. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, 3 to 6 minutes. Off heat, stir in Pecorino cheese and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with extra cheese.
Yield: 4-6 servings.
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