A steaming bowl of pasta need not be heavy or labour-intensive. This light, turkey sausage and rainbow kale dish hits all the right flavour notes and is done almost as fast as it takes for the pasta to cook.
My advice is to take the extra few minutes to brown some bread crumbs. While not essential to the flavour, this step lends the dish a wickedly awesome crunchy texture that resembles the best bits of a baked pasta, without even turning on your oven.
Meal 1: Turkey Sausage and Kale Orecchiette with Toasted Panko and Parmesan
2 cups rainbow kale. chopped
1 lb. dried orecchiette
1/2 lb. turkey sausage, casings discarded and meat chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons sea salt, plus more, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
* Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of bite
1. In a pan over medium-low heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil, add the bread crumbs and stir to coat. Season lightly with salt and cook, stirring often, until the crumbs are an even, deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add 2 tablespoon salt and the kale and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool under cold running water, drain and squeeze gently to remove excess moisture. Chop coarsely and set aside.
3. Cook pasta until al dente according to the package directions.
4. Meanwhile, warm the 1/3 cup olive oil over medium-low heat. Add sausage and garlic and cook, stirring and breaking up meat with the back of a wooden spoon until browned, about 7 minutes. Add the kale and stir to combine for about 2 minutes. Season with salt.
5. When the pasta is ready, scoop out and reserve about 2 ladlefuls of the cooking water, drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sausage mixture and cheese and toss well over low heat to combine, adding some of the cooking water, if needed.
6. Top each portion with a sprinkle of the toasted bread crumbs and more cheese.
Meal 2: Garlicky Turkey Kale Soup with Pasta, White Beans and Tomatoes
Stretch your kale and turkey sausage mixture by turning it into a soup. This bright and healthy meal is surprisingly filling and thanks to the addition of white beans and tomatoes, there’s even more deliciousness in every bite.
Use homemade broth if you have it, otherwise, a low sodium boxed version is just as delicious.
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white beans
1 pint of grape tomatoes, quartered
Cooked turkey and kale mixture
Salt & pepper to taste
grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to taste
1. In a medium pot, heat 6 cups of chicken broth to a low simmer. Add 1/2 cup white beans and heat through, about 2 minutes.
2. Add cooked sausage and kale and cooked orecchiette and heat until ingredients are hot.