Kale and Sausage Penne with Lemon Cream Sauce . . .

This is a pasta dish of strong flavors: dark, earthy kale is offset by bright lemon cream and a warm, aromatic heat from crushed red chiles and garlic.



¼ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped

2½ cups half and half

cup grated Parmesan

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 pound dried penne pasta

3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley, for garnish


1. Heat oil in a 6-qt saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and red chile flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add sausage, and cook, using a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces until browned, 16 to 18 minutes. Add kale, season with salt and pepper, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add half and half and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally until reduced by a third, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in Parmesan, juice and zest, nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper; set aside and keep warm.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally until al dente, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup cooking water; add both pasta and water to reserved sauce and cook about 5 minutes more. Serve garnished with parsley.