Cookbooks with photos of the finished dish are all the rage now. At first I thought, who needs a picture?
But then last week the latest Weight Watcher magazine came out and I saw this photo of rigatoni with sausage and kale. Like a hypnotized zombie I grabbed my purse and drove straight to the market for the ingredients. Two hours later we were eating this very dish and I must say, the real thing lived up to the magazine cover in spades. Pictures really can entice you into trying something new.
The kale — use lacinato* or dinosaur kale if you can — pretty much disappears into the deliciousness of chubby rigatoni noodles, spicy sausage (I used hot turkey sausage) and Parmesan cheese. Of course, you could use broccoli rabe or spinach instead of kale, but trust me, if you’re kale-shy this is the perfect way to introduce yourself.
*Lacinato or dinosaur kale has long, chard-like leaves. It has a less bitter taste and cooks more quickly than regular curly kale, which I think is best used as a garnish to look at but not to eat. Julia Child once said that if you don’t like something, don’t eat it. My motto is: life is too short for curly kale.
2 cups rigatoni pasta
8 oz. Italian turkey sausage (sweet or hot)
4 cups kale, roughly chopped into bite-size pieces
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook rigatoni in salted water and drain.
Remove sausage casings and cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Add kale and cook, stirring frequently, until limp, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add broth to skillet and scrape up browned bits with a wooded spoon; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until kale is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in rigatoni, heat through.
Serve with grated Parmesan.
WW Points per serving (1 1/2 cups pasta and 2 Tbsp. Parmesan): 8