This weeks Blogger Secret Ingredient, Dried Fruit, was chosen by Lindsey at Sound Eats. I was pleased that I had this savory dried fruit pasta dish planned. The dish was great; the sausage and dried cranberries reminded me of a hot stuffing, only paired with warm pasta instead of bread. The kale gave a tender chew and was cooked in with the sausage and garlic…which was phenomenal. In place of pork sausage, I used all turkey sausage mixed with a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
- 1/2 pound hot bulk Italian sausage
- 1/2 pound sweet bulk Italian sausage
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup dry red wine, eyeball it
- 1 1/4 pounds kale, stems removed and chopped
- Black pepper
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, to your taste
- 3/4 cup Romano cheese, 3 generous handfuls, plus some to pass at the table
Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Add rigatoni and salt and cook to al dente or with a bite to it. Drain and reserve 2 ladles of pasta water.
While pasta cooks, heat extra-virgin olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, brown and crumble it, then add garlic and onions and cook until tender 5 to 6 minutes. Add cranberries and wine and stir to combine then reduce a minute. Add kale in bunches and stir to wilt down. Add the reserved pasta water. Season the dish with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.
Add pasta to the pan with sausage and kale. Top pasta with cheese and toss with kale mixture to combine. Serve immediately with extra cheese for topping.