Nothing says comfort food to me like pasta. Add in some cheese, sausage and kale, then we're talking that good pasta. This recipe for Cheesy Kale and Sausage Pasta is an updated pasta that beats spaghetti and meatballs any night of the week.
What is kale?
Kale is a popular vegetable in the cabbage family. It's known for having dark leafy greens and being packed with nutrients. Unlike spinach and other greens, kale is very hardy and does not become mushy when cooked. Kale can be found at most grocery store chains as it has become a mainstream vegetable in recent years. If you need to make a substitution, you could use spinach, swiss chard or collard greens in this recipe.
What type of pasta to use
This recipe calls for rigatoni pasta, which are large ribbed tubed pasta. This is so that it can hold up to the other ingredients and grip to the cheese. If you need to make a substitution, pastas like penne, ziti or rotini would make good substitutes.
Can this Cheesy Kale and Sausage Pasta be frozen?
Cheesy Kale and Sausage Pasta can be frozen. Follow the instructions up until filling the dish. Cover the pasta dish and freeze. To bake after frozen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake until warmed through (the time will depend on the amount of pasta frozen). To finish, top with the cheeses and broil until browned on top, about 5 minutes.
What types of cheese to use
For this recipe I used a mix of italian shredded cheeses. You could either grab a premade shredded italian mix, or create your own. If creating your own, I'd recommend parmesan, fontina and mozzarella.
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Cheesy Kale and Sausage Pasta
- 1 Pound Rigatoni
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion Diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic Minced
- ¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Pound Italian Sausage Casings removed
- Salt To Taste
- Pepper To Taste
- 2 Cups Heavy Cream
- 2 Bunches Kale Stems removed, chopped
- 1 Pound Ricotta Cheese
- 1 ½ Cups Italian Cheese Mix
- Cook Rigatoni in a pot of salted water per package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pan, add oil and onion and garlic on medium-high heat. Cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in crushed red pepper and sausage. Cook until sausage has no remaining pink and is broken into crumbled pieces. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Stir in heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Add kale and cook until just softened. Remove pan from heat and stir in ricotta cheese and half of the Italian cheese mix. Combine with pasta and toss to evenly coat.
- Transfer pasta to an oven proof baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Broil pasta on the middle rack for 5 minutes or until browned on top. Serve warm and enjoy!