Creamy Sausage and Kale Pasta is a dish that is made to impress. Savoury sausage, Cavolo Nero and rigatoni tossed in a deliciously silky tomato and white wine sauce you will want to lick off the plate.
Pasta with Sausage and Kale
A restaurant quality pasta dish that is easy to whip up, this creamy pasta with savoury sausage and black kale is perfect for Date Night or a cosy Friday night in. Just like my Prosecco Pasta and Chilli Prawn Linguine it is fancy enough for entertaining but still easy enough to whip up any night of the week.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Sausages – I typically use high quality, herby pork sausages (these pork and herb sausages are my go-to). You could also use chicken sausages or a vegetarian mince instead. Diced mushrooms would also make a great vegetarian alternative.
- Tuscan Kale – It goes by many names, including cavolo nero, black kale, Lacinato kale or dinosaur kale. I think Tuscan kale works best in this recipe, but you could use curly kale instead or spinach.
- Shallot – or red onion.
- White Wine – you can omit the wine if you don’t consume alcohol – use some chicken stock or pasta cooking water instead.
- Tomato Paste – or tomato puree. Sundried tomato or red pepper pesto both make a good substitute.
- Double Cream – or heavy cream. Creme fraiche will also work and you can use a dairy free cream if desired.
- Pasta – I love rigatoni for this recipe, but any short pasta shape will work. Fusilli or orecchiette would be great.
- Chilli Flakes – or red pepper flakes. They are optional but add a nice heat. I sprinkle chilli flakes on at the end, but you could add them when browning the sausage meat for added spice.
- Parmesan – optional, for garnish.
Always save some pasta cooking water when you drain the pasta – adding it to the sauce helps to emulsify it so it sticks to the pasta much better. Pasta cooking water also helps to thin out thick creamy sauces.
To cook the sausage meat, slit the sausage skins with a sharp knife and peel them off. Add the skinless sausages to the hot pan and use a wooded spoon or firm spatula to break up the sausage as it cooks. It should crumble to perfect bite sized chunks.
To prepare the Tuscan Kale, remove the dark green leaves from the stems either with a knife or by hand. I find it easier (and quicker) to just use my fingers to pull the leaves from the stems as they come away easily, then pull the leaves apart rather than slicing with a knife. The leaves are veiny and are typically easy to tear into bite sized pieces. Make sure to wash the black kale well in cold water before using.
I love this sausage and tuscan kale pasta best with a light green salad and some freshly baked garlic bread (perfect for mopping up the sauce.)
Grated parmesan and chilli flakes make the best topping, but herby breadcrumbs or some fresh chopped parsley would also be a treat.
This creamy sausage pasta is best served straight away, but you can reheat any leftovers the next day (though I would be surprised if there are any!) I don’t recommend making this dish ahead – it is very quick and easy to whip up though to save time you can prepare the kale ahead of cooking and store in the fridge.
Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Due to the creamy sauce I would not recommend freezing this dish.
To make this pasta gluten free, just make sure your sausages and pasta are gluten free.
For a dairy free version, use a plant based cream such as almond or cashew cream.
For a vegetarian version, you can use a plant based mince or diced mushrooms or simply leave it out and add extra kale or some additional spinach.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @carrieskitchen_ if you make it!
Try one of my other sausage pasta recipes:
- Sausage Carbonara with Lemon & Parsley
- Vodka Pasta with Sausage
- Sausage and Mushroom Pasta with Rocket
Creamy Sausage and Kale Pasta
- 1 Sharp Knife
- 1 Chopping Board
- 1 Pot for cooking pasta
- 1 Colander or Pasta Strainer
- 1 Spatula
- 1 shallow casserole or frying pan
- 200 grams good quality pork sausages
- 180 grams rigatoni or penne pasta
- 2 shallots diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- ¼ cup white wine 60ml or 4 tbsp
- ¼ cup double or heavy cream 60ml or 4 tbsp
- 100 grams Cavolo Nero also called black kale/tuscan kale
- 2 tbsp tomato paste or puree
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- pinch chilli or red pepper flakes to garnish
- grated parmesan to garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
- Heat the olive oil in a shallow casserole dish or large frying pan over a medium heat and add the diced shallot with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes until the shallot begins to soften.
- Slice open the sausage skins and squeeze out the meat. Discard the skins and add the sausage meat to the pan with the shallots, using a spatula or wooden spoon to break it up. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the sausage meat has browned and crumbled.
- Stir the garlic, tomato puree and a pinch of black pepper into the sausage and shallots and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is fragrant.
- Put the pasta on to cook until al-dente. Make sure to reserve a cup of pasta water before draining.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the wine to the sausage pan and let it simmer over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Then turn the heat to low and stir in the cream. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes before stirring in the kale.
- Stir the pasta into the sauce with a tablespoon of pasta cooking water. Stir well and add more pasta water, a tablespoon at a time, until your sauce reaches the desired consistency – it should be thick and glossy and coat the pasta well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the pasta between two bowls and garnish with some chilli flakes and grated parmesan cheese.