This is the kind of simple autumn and winter dish you can depend on. It’s hearty with a balanced dose of vegetables, protein and carbs. You can serve this recipe as a meal-in-one when time is pinched and you’re craving a healthy, comforting plate.
Photo by Samantha Holek (Ithaca College ’16)
The heat from the andouille sausage kicks this pasta up a couple notches! You can always substitute the andouille with any other sausage that tickles your fancy, like chicken and apple or spicy Italian. Likewise, the kale can be substitute for chard, spinach or other braising greens like Tat Soi.
- Spaghetti - 4 portions
- Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- Garlic - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Andouille sausage - 3
- Kale - 1 bunch, leaves stripped from stems and chopped
- Sea salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Black pepper - 1/4 teaspoon, freshly ground
- Parmesan - 1/2 cup, grated
- Chili flakes - Optional: 1 teaspoon
- Bring a pot of water to boil and salt it so it tastes like an accidental ocean gulp. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (slightly chewy). While the pasta is cooking, preparing the sausage and kale. When the pasta is ready to be drained, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low. Add the sausages whole and sear until browned on all sides. After about 7 minutes, remove one sausage and slice through the middle to see if the center is cooked. If so, remove all three sausages and set aside to cool. Once cool, cut the sausages into 1/4-inch wide wheels.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of the pasta water to the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape the sausage bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and simmer for about 2 minutes. Add the kale, sea salt and black pepper. Toss and cover the pan with a lid until the kale wilts.
- Add the sausage and drained pasta to the pan, and toss with the kale. Add a couple teaspoons of the reserved pasta water at a time, tossing to coat the pasta with a thin, flavorful sauce.
- Remove the pasta from the heat and toss with the Parmesan. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and add chili flakes for more heat.