Sausage and Kale Spaghetti

Do you ever have those “how did I get here” moments? As in one minute I’m sitting in a university dorm room watching (the original) 90210 and the next I’m sitting on the couch watching Dora the Explorer with MY TWO KIDS. Yes…MY kids. Two of them. Ack. Remind me how I got here? Sure there were 15 intervening years of school, work, ill-advised relationships and the rest of it…but seriously how the heck did they disappear so darn fast? When did I become a mortgage-paying, casserole-making, SUV-driving mom? And if the past 15 years are a blur, what of the next 15? Before I know it I will be lamenting my pot-smoking teenage kids between hot flashes and Botox injections.  Is that how it goes?
This is not a novel thought, I realize. Ya ya ya time flies when you’re having “fun”. But I’ve been reflecting a lot on this lately. Explainable by the pregnancy factor, perhaps. You know, those hormones that cause one to weep uncontrollably at that flipping Apple FaceTime commercial. (Or is that just me?)

So what on earth does this have to do with food, you ask? And spaghetti, more specifically? Nothing much at all really. (Except that where there are hormones, there is inevitably a good amount of spaghetti.) But that’s the beauty of having your very own blog-slash-mouthpiece: you can write about whatever the heck you want!
This doesn’t mean I’m not leaving you with a recipe. Quite the contrary, actually. Today I’ve got one of my favourite recipes; this is a doozie folks, a real winner. It stars sausage–which is definitely one of my fave things these days. Not the weenies or breakfast sausages of your youth; I’m talking the real, spice-flecked, junk-free ones that you find in a good butcher shop.

In this dish, the flesh of a few good sausages (and it’s important you use the tastiest ones you can possibly find) is sautéed with onions, garlic and kale, and then tossed with hot whole grain pasta and a dusting of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s simple enough for a really quick weeknight meal, but fancy enough for an impromptu dinner party. When I make it for dinner guests, I buy some crazy expensive fresh pasta or Italian dry pasta to take it up a few notches, and serve with a peppery arugula and roasted mushroom salad.
This is delicious, simple goodness. One bite and I’m living in the carby, sausagey moment. Thoughts of botox and hot flashes begone. For now.

  • 1 pound of the most flavourful sausage you can find (spicy Italian or chorizo are good options)
  • 1 small onion, cut in half and sliced in thin half moons
  • 2 large, or 3 small cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large bunch of kale, washed and roughly chopped (or 1 box of pre-washed baby kale)
  • 1/2 lb kamut or whole wheat spaghetti
  • Ground pepper and salt to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook spaghetti until just al dente. Reserve a cup of the hot pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings and into the pan. Stir, breaking up the meat up with the back of a wooden spoon, until sausage is cooked through.
  3. If your sausage does not release much fat, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
  4. Add onion and cook until onion is tender. Add garlic and stir for one minute.
  5. Add kale and cook until it is wilted and soft. Turn off heat.
  6. Mix the hot pasta into the kale/sausage/onion mixture. Moisten with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of reserved pasta-cooking water and a large glug of extra virgin olive oil. Stir in parmesan cheese and season generously with pepper. Add salt to taste (you may not need any).
  7. Serve with additional parmesan cheese sprinkled over top.