Tuesday, November 11, 2014

White Bean and Kale Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage

You can't get much better than a nice hearty pasta in the fall time.  In the fall I always want to eat "cozy food" which I guess is just any meal that fills you up and leaves you feeling warm inside.  That is probably kind of corny, but it's how I really feel, so there you go.  This pasta dish is great because you are getting a lot of protein from the beans and meat to help keep you full.  It also highlights kale, which is in season and at it's best in the fall.  If you are thinking to yourself "but I don't like kale" I seriously challenge you to try this dish and see if it can change your mind.  This is a quick meal to throw together and has some really delicious bold flavors!

W H I T E  B E A N  A N D  K A L E          P E N N E  P A S T A  with  I T A L I A N  S A U S A G E

☂ 1 lb. Gluten Free Penne Pasta (I use Barilla)
☂ 8 garlic cloves
☂ ¼ cup olive oil
☂ ½ lb. crimini mushrooms, sliced
☂ 1 lb. ground Italian sausage (the kind not in the casings)
☂ 1 bunch of kale
☂ ¾ cup white wine
☂ 1½ cups chicken stock
☂ ½ cup of pasta water
☂ 1 can great northern beans, drained & not rinsed

☂ Cook pasta according to package directions and drain (reserving ½ cup of pasta water) and set aside.
☂ In a large soup pot add in olive oil and garlic and then turn the heat to medium low. ☂ Let the garlic cook until golden brown and then add the sausage. 
☂ Break up the sausage into bite size pieces and cook until almost all the way cooked through and then add the mushrooms. 
☂ Begin preparing the kale by ripping the leaves off of the stem in the center of the kale.  Wash the kale leaves and then begin to tear the leaves into smaller pieces while squeezing and massaging the kale (this helps the kale become super tender and delicious).
☂ Take an additional pot and turn it to high and add the white wine, chicken stock, and pasta water.  Let the liquids come to a boil and then add kale and cook for 10 minutes.  
☂ Add the white beans to the sausage mixture and let this continue to cook until the kale mixture is done.  
☂ Add the kale mixture to the sausage mixture and now add the penne pasta.
☂ Let the pasta warm through and then serve.
☂ WALAH! Enjoy and start feeling nourished

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