September 08, 2013

Italian Sausage and Kale Penne

I've always been a fan of pastas with minimal sauce. It's not to say that I don't enjoy a good hearty bolognese, simple marinara or creamy alfredo, but there's just something about a dry pasta dish that I really enjoy.

With my kale plants growing into humongous trees, I decided to make this sausage and kale penne pasta for dinner! I made the sausage at home using ground pork, adapting this recipe to what I had on hand. Super simple and ridiculously delicious. I then browned it while breaking up the clumps, in a little olive oil and butter. I could have eaten the pound of pork just like that and probably would have if I didn't have three other people to feed.

As the pasta (1lb, dried) boiled away in salted water, I washed the kale that I had picked earlier from the garden. It was then, I found a spider and felt sick a little bit; but not before I freaked out, shot it with a hard stream of water until it drowned and scooped it out with a long handled ladle all while wearing hideous yellow dish washing gloves. It had a body that looked like a white orb with long thin legs. Oh my god, it was disgusting. And when it died, it's legs shriveled up and it just looked like an plump little egg sack. CRINGE WORTHY. I almost died.

I'm scared of spiders. Can you tell?

I can also be a little dramatic. I know.

Moving on!

After the pasta was cooked (al dente), I saved about a quarter cup of pasta water, drained the rest, returned the noodles into the pot and set it back on the burner on low/medium. In went 2 tablespoons of butter, the spider-less chopped kale, ripped basil, and pasta water mixed with chicken bouillon. The whole thing got heated through, the liquid was absorbed and thickened for the most part and then I added the cooked sausage and red pepper flakes. Yum.

I chose to add nutritional yeast in place of parmesan, but that's only because I used what I had on hand.As always do what you want, how you want it!

This is one of my favourite pastas, ever. 
It's delicious the next day, if there's any left and I'm thinking this would make a great freezer type dinner. Just portion it in a Ziploc bag and when you're too lazy to make even the laziest of lazy girl dinners, pull this baby out, dump it in a bowl with a splash of water and zap it in the microwave! Or defrost it the night before if you're able to plan when you don't want to cook dinner, then zap it. Or reheat on the stove if you're anti-microwaves. :)

P.S. Rich and I will be heading to the 29th Annual Vegetarian Food Fair tomorrow!

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Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and often veganize recipes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's really cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

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