A Little Sneaky Kale

First, I must say that I added a year to my age in the first post.  Maybe a very real sign of my advancing age.  🙂

In our home there are two very different eaters.  I will try and usually like a wide variety of food, but I married a real meat and potatoes type of guy.  He has really come a long way in trying new foods and has added many to his list of likes.  I can’t say enough about how helpful he has been as a “taster” during my culinary training.  All this said, he still has not wanted to try any kind of greens, but I just can’t stop trying. This week I fix a lovely, light pasta dish with just a little kale and he gave it a “thumbs up”.  Not only was it tasty, but healthy as well.

Weeknight Pasta with Sausage, Kale, Onions and Peppers

2 cups whole wheat penne pasta
1 T. salt for the pasta water
8 oz. uncooked Italian turkey sausage
1/2 bunch kale, stems and ribs removed, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch squares
1 orange bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch squares
1 onion, large dice
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
3 stems of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended


  • Cook penne in salted water according to package directions.  Save 1 cup of pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, remove sausage from casing and cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up sausage as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  Add kale; cook, stirring frequently, until limp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add peppers, onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, about 1 more minute.
  • Add past water to skillet and scrape up browned bits on bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon; season with salt and pepper. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; cook until kale is tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in rigatoni and basil; heat through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle each serving with about 2 tablespoons of cheese before serving. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.
  • Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!