Literally 6 ingredients, not including salt and olive oil, which you probably don't even need. EVEN WITH THOSE THINGS, one of the easier pastas in all of the land.
I feel like I see a ton of kale and sausage recipes so I was hesitant to share one, but the reason I see them so much is that it's such a wonderful pairing, right? You know it is. This particular dish uses fire-roasted tomatoes for extra flavor (hence, only a few ingredients), local sausage that is super crumbly and not chewy like some sausage, and enough kale for you to feel as though you're making the right choice, which you clearly are.
Plus, 30 minutes or so is all this takes.
You need pasta, sausage, garlic, kale, diced tomatoes, and cream. Parmesan, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes for flavor, so feel free to count those in the ingredient list if you need to.
Cook the pasta while you make the sauce - that's the key to this being done quickly. You won't use the whole package of pasta, but I cook a whole bag and feed it to my ever-carb-loving kid. You get it. Drain the pasta when it is al dente, and reserve a big cup of the cooking water right before you drain it. While that's working, thinly slice the kale (take out the stems first), and mince the garlic. Prep= done.
Next, add the sausage to a big skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage for about 10 minutes to let it brown and cook all the way through. Use a spoon to break it into teensy bits as you go.
When the sausage has browned, add the kale and garlic to the skillet. Stir it into the sausage mixture for about 2 minutes, just to barely wilt the kale and soften the garlic without burning or browning it.
Tomatoes go in next!
Then the pasta, cream, and splashes of the pasta water. We're going for enough sauce to coat the pasta and be a little bit juicy, but not soupy. I'm sorry if you hate those words.
This is the entire dish! Let the tomato mixture simmer with the pasta and veg for 5-10 minutes, then taste! Salt and crushed red pepper are your friends here. If you need to thin the sauce splash in a little bit more of the cooking water.
Serve with parm, devour.
This is one of those dishes that is so simple but so flavorful - it feels like weekend food which is basically my favorite thing on a weeknight. Carbs for life!
Creamy Sausage and Kale Rigatoni
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
- 12 ounces rigatoni
- 1 bound Italian sausage, bulk, or casings removed
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 15 ounces (1 can) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- salt, crushed red pepper, and parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. In a large skillet, brown the sausage for 7-10 minutes until it is cooked through, crumbling it with a spoon as you go. When the sausage is cooked, add the kale and the garlic to the skillet. Stir for 2 minutes to soften the kale, then add the tomatoes, pasta, and cream. Stir to combine and bring to a gentle simmer. Splash in a bit of the cooking water from the pasta (maybe ¼ cup at a time), and sprinkle the dish with salt.
- Let the pasta simmer for about 5 minutes more, then taste and add salt or crushed red pepper to your taste.
- Serve with parmesan cheese for sprinkling. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
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