Monday, January 17, 2011

Orecchiette w/Sausage, Kale & Beans, Oh My!

I'm SO glad we had company last night with our good friends and family, as opposed to watching the insufferable Golden Globe awards, (which I did so later on, and even with the fast forward button it was never-ending!)  When will I learn?  Well, what I DID learn was how to make a terrific pasta dish.  My girlfriend/neighbor, Alex, passed her leftovers along to me in a little tupperware bowl last week, just enough for all of us to have a taste, which left us desperately wanting more, so I asked her to pass along the recipe.
I don't have any pictures yet because our resident photographer last night, Tait, was using this thing called FILM.  That's right, that archaic novelty, 35mm film, which you can't download immediately into your computer, imagine that!  I hadn't heard this in a long time, "We have to finish this role so we can develop our Mexico pictures."  Adorable.  Maybe we'll see them someday...

(I doubled this recipe, and almost mistakenly TRIPLED it because I always get nervous I won't have enough, and the people will go hungry.  Must be the oppressed Jew in me...  There was PLENTY for 8 adults, with leftovers to boot; also, I like a lot of kale, so I added a little more than this, maybe an additional 1/2 a bunch.)

1 bunch kale, stemmed, leaves chopped
3 tbls evoo
1 onion chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb sweet italian sausage, casings removed & meat crumbled
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 lb orecchiette
1 (16 oz ) can cannellini beans, drain and rinsed
1 c. grated parm

1. start the water for the pasta

2. combine kale and 2 cups water in large microwavable bowl, cover, and microwave til leaves are tender... the recipe called for 8 mins, but mine only took about 4 - I also didn't want it yucky looking and too wilted. after cooked, drain in strainer and press to remove excess water.

3. heat 1 tbls oil in large skillet over med-high heat, cook onion until soft, add garlic, cook for another 30 seconds, add sausage until no longer pink, add wine and cook until reduced by 1/2, 2-3 mins.

4. meanwhile, cook the orecchiette until al dente in salted water, save 1 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta, stir in w/sausage mixture, kale, beans and reserved cooking water and simmer until ingredients are heated through, toss w/some olive oil and parm, salt and pepper to taste and serve.

As promised, here are the pics from Tait, quite timely may I say.  Who knew FILM could be developed so quickly?!

Christine and I marveling at the toasting pignoli nuts, while I stir the onions.  
That's right, doin' two things in the kitchen at once!

Italian pork sausage, out of it's casing.  That's my step-son, Lucas.
He's always a GREAT help in the kitchen.

Hubby, Jere, sportin' a sweet 'stache.

A crocodile from Tait and Christine's trip to Mexico.

This dish is super easy, everyone loved it, the kids, and even Gillian, our vegetarian, picked around the sausage because it was so inviting.  I used a brown rice pasta for a bit of an added health option, and it was still  really good.  We served it with a simple salad, (thanks Lucas), delicious garlic bread, (thanks Christine and Tait), and finished it off with a delightful selection of sorbets, (thanks Ronobir, Yuka and Kai).  The perfect night, sans Golden Globes, avec friends, baby, toddler, and babies to come...(you know who you are).


  1. Sounds yummy - very close to one I make with broccoli from Cooks Illustrated, but now I'll have to try the kale.

    I have been using Quinoa pasta lately since I can't abide whole wheat pasta.

    Will somebody explain what the hell Sandra Bullock was doing with her bangs last night? Fire her stylist immediately, I say.

  2. Perhaps she was hiding a forehead situation?
    Quinoa pasta, good idea! But I used brown rice, not whole wheat, much better tasting.

  3. Sounds delicious and I'm sure it was, cause I know what a great cook you are.
    Hello!....... I've eaten your food!
    I'm just wanting to know what you did with those yummy toasted pignoli nuts?
    Sandra Bullock was wearing a wig! And honestly, there's no explanation for that catastrophe!

  4. the nuts went in the salad.
    A WIG?! ARE YOU SURE?! disaster.