Thursday, October 10

Kale & Sausage Pasta

Pasta used to be my favorite food. I would make it 4 or 6 times a week. I still love it, but my approach to food has changed. I can't eat like that anymore - Anyone else know I am talking about here? So now I make it like twice a month. So you can imagine when I make it, its going to be awesome. I am not going to waste my pasta cravings on a box of mac & cheese from the store that tastes like cardboard. There are only a handful of recipes I will make. This recipe, number 14, in my personal goal of making 30 new Rachael Ray recipes in 30 days, is amazing and will join the list with my other favorites!! This was adapted from an October 2012 issue of Everyday, and I may be biased by I think I did a better job with it. 

The tender crisp veggies, melted cheese, caramelized bits of sausage, and the cream sauce just hugging the pasta is simple and memorable. Not bad for a 15-16 minute recipe from start to finish - that includes waiting for water to boil. I lightened it up from the original ditching the heavy cream, and added more veggies so go ahead and make it, feel good about your food and your body. We all need good food to fuel us, to get stuff done, to maintain life and mental stability, and to have good attitudes. Be balanced and try some yummy pasta and veggies on a crisp fall day :)

Kale & Zucchini Sausage Pasta
serving size is 3
prep + cooking time: approx. 15 minutes

1/2 lb fettuccine noodles
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
4 oz (half of a small block) of mozzarella cheese
2 zucchini's quartered and finely diced into diamond shapes
1/2 bunch of kale approx. 4-5 leaves, stems removed 
1/2 cup of half and half
1/2 lb of mild ground sausage
1 tsp flour
salt & pepper to taste
fresh basil (optional)

Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1-2 Tbs salt

Step 2: In a large skillet start browning the sausage over medium heat. I didn't need to add oil since I was using my cast iron pan but if you need to help it olive oil would be a good touch. When it looks about half way done, add in the zucchini, garlic, and shallot. 

Step 3: Once water is boiling cook the pasta as per directions on your box. Once pasta is done, drain it, and return it back to the pot. Keep 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.

Step 4:  Sprinkle the flour over the sautéed veggies, and let it cook for about 1 minute or so stirring. Then add in the starchy cooking water and the half and half. Bring to a simmer and let the liquids reduce by half (takes less than a minute). 

Step 5: Add the kale to the skillet with the sautéed veggies. Remove the pan from the heat. Mine looked like the kale wasn't going to fit in the pan but it only took about 30 seconds to wilt. The dish is now ready to combine. 

Step 6: Toss/Pour the sauced veggies into the pot with the pasta and marry the flavors together.

Step 7: Grate or Shred the cheese over each bowl and top with fresh basil (optional)

What a fun way to eat kale & zucchini :) 
From my kitchen to yours

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