On busy work nights, when I get home a bit later than I planned and didn’t have anything in particular in mind to cook, I usually wind up cooking some sort of pasta. During the growing season, it becomes even more exciting to add different types of fresh vegetables into the mix and change things up.
However, when I arrived home last night to a bottle of champagne in the fridge, something in my gut told me a celebratory meal was in order (quickly) and pasta and kale wasn’t going to cut it.
In celebration of Ryan’s promotion, I cooked him his favorite type of dish (pasta) and utilized some kale from last Tuesday’s bushel, along with garlic scape pesto that I had made a few weeks ago for my green goddess pizza. I needed to find some additional ingredients to liven things up a bit and I remembered I had two links of italian sausage thawing in the fridge and I always have chickpeas on hand in the pantry. In an instant, I knew I was going to do a take on a dish my mom made a lot when I was growing up; Pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe.
This dinner was quickly thrown together in less than 30 minutes with just 5 ingredients and paired well with the nice bottle of bubbly we toasted with.
- 1 lb. linguine
- 1/4 cup of garlic scape pesto
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 links of hot italian sausage
- 5 cups of chopped kale
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
Bring pot of salted water to a roiling boil and drop pasta according to box directions for al dente.
While the water is boiling, heat a skillet over medium to high heat and crumble italian sausage into skillet to cook. Cook until almost cooked through. Add chickpeas and lower temp to medium so the sausage doesn’t over cook but the chickpeas are heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta and set aside.
To the sausage and chickpeas, add the chopped kale and increase to medium high heat. Season with salt and wilt until the size of kale is significantly reduced and leaves are tender.
Toss the reserved pasta into the skillet and mix to incorporate. Use about 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water and pesto and mix into skillet as well. Cook until the pesto/pan sauce thickens and add more water if you think the pasta is too dry.
Dish into shallow bowls and top with shredded parmesan and hot red pepper flakes.
And there you have it, what initially was planned as a not exciting dinner was spruced up with a few fridge and pantry staples along with some fresh produce that changed a simple dish into one that was special occasion appropriate.