Friday, August 24, 2012

A Tuscan Dream

So, I got kale from Bountiful Baskets AGAIN. Since this trendy super-food won't leave me alone, I decided to make good use of it. First, I thought I'd try a sausage and kale soup, which I think is a thing, although I've never had or made it before, but then I remembered that it's August and nobody wants soup in August. So I got the brilliant idea of making a rustic pasta dish inspired by sausage and kale soup.The dish took me halfway across the world to a trattoria in the Tuscan country side, especially because I served it with some crusty bread, which I made from scratch thanks to my friends at Pinterest.

(Here's the recipe for this amazingly simple and delicious bread:
Disclaimer: I've never been to Tuscany or really studied much about it, but I watch the Food Network and I'm sure Giada would approve this recipe as being Tuscan-inspired.

Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Pasta

Look at me, getting all Pinterest-ish with my poor quality iPhone photos
1/2 box whole grain medium-sized shell noodles (or any short pasta will work)
1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage
1/2 onion--diced
1 carrot--grated
2 garlic cloves--minced
1/2 can cannellini or great northern beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning 
3 stalks of Tuscan kale--chopped (or regular kale, or spinach would probably work)
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to serve

1. Cook pasta according to package direction (..okay Giada, I'll mention it..) for al dente.

2. Head a skillet to medium heat. Brown and crumble sausage. Add onion and carrot and cook until they are soft and tender. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.

3. Add beans, tomatoes, kale, Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until kale has wilted and is tender. Add cream and stir. Add pasta.

4. Serve with crusty bread and LOTS of Parmesan cheese.

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