This hearty and healthy dish is a family favorite with greens such as kale, spinach or broccoli rabe. For protein, I use a combination of spicy and sweet sausages, made with either pork or chicken. Instead of using the full sausages, I strip the ground meat out of their casings and sauté it in olive oil. With quick heat to wilt the greens, a giant scoop of mascarpone cheese and some reserved pasta water, the dish comes together very easily. Season with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese for an effortless weeknight dinner.
- 1 pound orecchiette pasta
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-vigin olive oil
- 1 pound sausages casings removed
- 4 cups baby kale leaves spinach or broccoli rabe
- 1/2 (generous) cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over hight heat. Salt the water once it comes to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, following the instructions on the packaging. Stir the pasta occasionally. Place a measuring cup in the colander to capture about a cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and set aside the reserved liquid.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage pieces using a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula to break up the pieces as it browns. Once the sausage has browned and is cooked through, add the greens and let them wilt. Add the cup of pasta cooking liquid, scraping up the brown bits of sausage. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir as it dissolves into a light sauce. Add the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add in the hot pasta, stir well until the pasta is coated with the sauce and serve.
Seeing this recipe reminds me of the time I made a version of this for dinner one night Lucas was over. He told me, very matter of fact, that it was good but NOT as good as his moms! 😊