Pasta with sausage and kale

Starting next week we are doing work to our kitchen. While I’m dreading packing up all our pots and pans and clearing out the pantry, it’s been fun coming up with creative uses for some of the ingredients bought and forgotten long ago. Tonight I decided to experiment with a box of buckwheat pasta, some frozen sausage links, and week old shredded kale. As a nutritionist and the mom of a toddler, I’m partial to tomato-based pasta dishes because I can cram in a few servings of veggies (usually carrots, celery and onions plus tomato sauce, some greens and anything else in the crisper drawer). If making this dish for kids, I recommend using a mild sausage, but if serving to adults, I think a spicy sausage would work just as well. Same goes for the pasta–I made buckwheat fettucine but use whatever you have on hand (I often use whole wheat penne in sausage dishes).

1 lb buckwheat fettucine
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
1/4 cup white wine, optional
2/3 cup tomato sauce
2/3 cup chicken broth or pasta cooking water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Assorted herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, or anything else you have on hand)
2 cups kale, shredded
Pecorino or parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside, reserving about 1 cup of cooking water. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium high heat, sauté onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Add sausage, breaking it up with side of wooden spoon as it cooks. Once brown, deglaze pan with a little white wine. Add tomato sauce and some chicken broth or cooking water from pasta. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, toss in kale and cover partly. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes until greens have wilted. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more broth or pasta cooking water. Stir pasta into sausage mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.