Penne with Kale, Sausage and Roasted Tomatoes

This recipe is from the post: Penne for Your Thoughts?

Cooks note: The kale, shallot, nuts and currants make a fine kale side dish for another supper. Start with the 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in the pan for the fat and follow the directions for the kale portion of this recipe.

6-8 servings

1 lb.  Raw Mild Italian Chicken Sausage, or Sweet Italian Pork Sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
1 lb.  Kale, (Lacinato, Red Russian or combo of both), washed, stemmed and chopped
1 lb.  Uncooked Penne Pasta, plain or wheat
1 1/2  cups grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
1/2    cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 large)
1/4    cup finely chopped walnuts, (you can use pecans or pine nuts instead)
1/2    cup currants
2 T.   good quality olive oil + 1 tsp.
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Place the tomatoes on a cookie sheet that has been wiped or sprayed with olive oil. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the tomatoes and toss them to coat. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast the tomatoes in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15- 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are roasted, soft and have collapsed, but are not burned – watch them carefully. Set the tomatoes aside.

Bring water to a boil and salt it according to the pasta package directions. Add the pasta to the water and cook until al dente, about 13 – 15 minutes, but follow the package directions for individual times. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Toss with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.

While the pasta is cooking, brown the sausage over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet, stirring frequently, until just cooked through. Transfer the cooked sausage to a bowl with a slotted spoon, keeping the remaining drippings in the skillet, and set the meat aside. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then add the shallots and cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the nuts and currants and saute for about 2 more minutes until the currants start to plump and the nuts are fragrant. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper. Add about 1/2 of the raw kale to the skillet, stirring and tossing to coat with the shallot mixture. Season the kale with one more small pinch of salt and two grinds of black pepper. When the first batch of kale begins to wilt, add the remaining kale to the pan and continue to stir until all the kale has wilted and is cooked through. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm if the pasta is still cooking.

To the hot and drained pasta pot, add the reserved sausage, roasted tomatoes and kale mixture and toss all ingredients well to combine. Serve immediately, passing the Parmesan cheese.

Recipe ©2011 Betsy Burts. All reproduction rights reserved.

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