Shell Pasta with Sausage and Greens

My father loves to watch cooking shows and is often inspired to try out a new dish he sees prepared on a show. Today he drew inspiration from Weir Cooking in the City a program of public television KQED in San Francisco. Joanne Weir used to work at Chez Panisse and now teaches cooking classes in the city. This simple recipe of pasta, sausage, Parmesan cheese and rabe or kale is very easy to prepare and delicious. After indulging tonight we all agreed that it was a keeper. Ms. Weir’s recipe calls for broccoli rabe, which wasn’t available, but kale made a perfectly fine substitution. Kale can be quite bitter on its own, but included in this dish there is no trace of bitterness; it is an accent of flavor to the sausage and cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. shell or ear-shaped "Conchiglie" pasta
  • 3/4 lb. Italian sausage - half hot, half sweet or plain
  • 12 oz. bunch of kale, broccoli rabe, or other green, chopped (if using kale, or leafy green, remove and discard center stem)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Method

1 Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a Tbsp of olive oil. Add the pasta and cook as directed on the package, until al dente.

2 While pasta is being prepared, cook kale or rabe in chicken stock for about 8 minutes.

3 While greens are cooking, sauté Italian sausage until brown - about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove sausage from pan. Add green onions to pan, sauté until soft. Add garlic and cook for a minute more.

4 When pasta is done, drain and return to pan. Toss together with the greens, sausage, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Add chile pepper flakes to taste.

Note: You might want to try experimenting with adding some sautéed bell pepper.

Main Ingredients

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