Tuesday dinner: Sausage, kale and pink bean ragu

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If you don’t already have Rick Bakas’ blog bookmarked, you should feel free to go do that now. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Seriously though, I’ve gone to his blog on a couple of occasions in the past for dinnertime inspiration. His recipes are pretty simple and fit pretty nicely with what I try to do for weeknight dinners. Good flavors and prep-to-table in under an hour. A sommelier, he offers a wine pairing for each recipe, which is handy.

IMG_1730 - 2013-01-15 at 17-57-26I liked this particular recipe for a few reasons:

  1. You can never go wrong with kale
  2. Or shallots
  3. I’ve never had a pink bean before
  4. I don’t feel as guilty when I eat poultry-based sausage

WHAT WORKED: The balance of flavors. Everything complemented each other nicely in taste and texture. Nothing overpowered. Nothing got in the way.

WHAT DIDN’T: The heavy cream. I’m not entirely sure what purpose it served in this dish.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: This is really good. How many people are coming over for dinner? (There’s probably about 6 to 8 servings in this recipe.)

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: I would think so. It’s easy and it offers the opportunity to tinker and make it your own. For instance, I might split the beans between pink and white beans. And I think chicken would work here too.

IMG_1735 - 2013-01-15 at 18-17-30Sausage, Kale and Pink Bean Ragu
Adapted from Rick Bakas

  • 1 lb. whole wheat rigatoni (I used penne…any short tubular pasta will work here)
  • 1/2 lb. turkey sausage
  • 1 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used Yellow Tail pinot grigio)
  • 1 cup water (I used tap…ha)
  • 15 oz. can pink beans
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. whipping cream

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Salt the water and cook the pasta per the instructions on the package.

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While the water is coming to a boil, brown the sausage in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Transfer the meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon and use he remaining fat to cook the shallots 2 to 3 minutes.

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Add the kale, wine and water. Stir to combine and simmer 15 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the kale. Stir in the beans, lemon juice and sausage to combine. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Toss with the heavy cream, remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve hot with plenty of parmesan cheese on the side.

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