Pasta with sausage and kale recipe

If you follow us on social media, you will see that we love our CSA vegetable box that we pick up at the Knoxville Market Square Farmers Market. We try to post a dish each week that incorporates something from the box. We have used Zavel’s Family Farm for our CSA for the last two seasons and couldn’t be more happy. Almost every farm at the Market offers a CSA, so check them out.

A new addition that Zavel’s has (for sale, not in the CSA box), is their meat product. They were kind enough to give us a package of their spicy breakfast sausage a few weeks back and, rather than breakfast, we put together this mid-week pasta dinner. We made our pasta using Serious Eats Semolina Flour recipe, but feel free to use any quality pasta…and there may even be some to be found at your local farmers market!

Fresh Farmers Market Pasta Knoxville

Recipe Details

This is a recipe for two. Simply scale it to fit your needs. You will need

  • 15 or so pieces fresh or dried pasta (Fettuccini, Pappardelle or the like)
  • ½ lb fresh breakfast sausage
  • ½ white onion chopped coarsely 
  • ½ bunch fresh kale (or frozen spinach in a pinch)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional Red Pepper Spice, we like Olde Virden’s Hot Sprinkle
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Ricotta

To start, bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Season the water with enough salt to make it taste like sea water.

While that’s coming to a boil, in a cast iron (or any other skillet really!) skillet set to medium-high, brown and break into small pieces ½ lb of breakfast sausage. As that’s browning, remove any large stems and wash your kale (again, everything we used this week was from Zavel’s except the pasta! Get yourself a CSA share!). After kale is clean, grab it all and start squeezing. As you work the kale, it will soften. After 30 seconds or so, lay all the kale in a stack and roll tightly as if you’re rolling up a cigar. Then Slice in ¼”-½” slices to form ribbons of kale (sounds like a country song in the making). Sprinkle ¼ tsp of salt on the kale and finish browning sausage. Remove sausage and all but about 2 tablespoons of rendered sausage fat from the pan.

If you’re using dried pasta, begin cooking that now according to directions on package to al dente. 

Reduce heat to Medium and add onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until the begin to become translucent. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes and cook 2 minutes. Add kale and cook another 2 minutes before adding white wine and cover for another 5 minutes. Remove lid and season with salt and pepper to taste. OPTIONAL: Add dried pepper flakes.

If using fresh pasta, drop it in the boiling water now and cook 60 seconds. Drain pasta and in a large bowl, mix pasta with kale and sausage. Top with a tablespoon per serving of fresh ricotta and, if you like, parmesan cheese. Enjoy with a refreshing Pinot Grigio.

Many thanks to Zavel’s for the breakfast sausage!