March 22, 2012

Simple Weeknight Dinner: Cavatappi with Sausage and Kale

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Some pastas really are the sum of their parts. The perfectly shaped noodles being coated by just the right amount of sauce and augmented by just the right savory and hearty ingredients. This is one of those pastas, and it is perfect for this time of year when it's not too hot and not too cold.

This cavatappi with sausage and kale comes together very quickly, and is all bound together by a nice, light coating of tomato sauce. The cavatappi is the perfect shape to embrace the sausage and kale, and the flavors all blend together beautifully.

Making the Dish
What You'll Need
1 head kale, sliced into  ribbons
1/2 lb sausage, removed from casing
2 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 lb cavatappi
pecorino romano
salt and pepper

When all your vegetables are cooked, start to heat up the olive oil in a large sauce pan. When hot, start to sauté the red onion until it is translucent, about 7 minutes. After that, add in the sausage and garlic, and stir to break up the sausage into small pieces. Cook until the sausage is browned on all sides and mostly cooked through, another 7 minutes or so.

Once the sausage has browned and cooked most of the way through, start boiling the water and add in a tablespoon of salt. Cook the cavatappi until 1 minute shy of the package directions.

Into the saucepan with the sausage, add in the kale and stir together, coating entirely, until it starts to wilt. Then add the tomato sauce, and again cook through. Reduce the heat to a simmer.

When the pasta is ready, take a ladle of the pasta water and put it into the sausage and kale mixture. Drain the cavatappi and then place it into the sausage and kale mixture. Toss everything together over high heat until all the moisture is absorbed into the pasta and the pasta has finished cooking, 1 - 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve garnished with grated pecorino romano.

The Result
What more could you ask for from a dish that takes just about 15 minutes to prepare and costs around $7 for two servings? This is great. It's savory and delicious from the sausage, nice greens from the kale, and all bound together with tomato sauce on a delicious bed of pasta.

What's your favorite quick weeknight meal? Let us know in the comments!

One year ago: The Best Burger with Sun-dried Tomato Aoili


  1. Oh my, this looks just incredible. I love how the ridges in the cavatappi catches the perfect amount of sauce. It makes a dish so much more fun.

    Tonight for dinner, following a crazy day we had a simple spaghetti and sausage with homemade oven roasted tomato sauce. So simple and so good!

    1. Excuse my typos, it is late and apparently my eyes are tired too.

    2. Not at all, don't worry about it! The sausage with oven roasted tomato sauce sounds excellent! Would love to see the recipe for that :)

  2. Scrumptious! Can't wait to try this!


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