I've been scaring people at the gym a little this week.
I agreed to be part of a reading called Love, Loss and What I Wore, which is a collection of scenes and monologues about women and their clothes. It sounds fluffy--and it kind of is--but there is some truth to the idea of that we are what we wear (as well as what we eat).
But back to scaring people at the gym--I have been running lines while on the elliptical machine. Mind you, I'm not saying them out loud, but I'm reading and thinking through them, and gesture a little like I plan to do in the show.
And, make no mistake, this pasta is special. Slightly spicy, full of wilted dark leafy greens and thickened with toasted bread crumbs, the sauce is a winner. David made homemade linguine to eat with it, but good-quality dried pasta will work just as well.
Pasta with Sausage and Kale
Adapted from The Mozza Cookbook by Nancy Silverton
1 small bunch Lacinato kale
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2/3 cup water
3/4 lb. Italian chicken sausage, removed from its casings and coarsely chopped
2 small peperoncini peppers, crushed
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
12 oz. fresh or dried pasta
1 tbsp. good-quality extra-virgin olive oil to finish the sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tbsp. bread crumbs, toasted
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
Wash and dry the kale. Cut the leaves away from the stems and chop the stems into 1/2 inch pieces.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the quarter cup of olive oil over medium heat. Add the kale stems and cook for two to three minutes, or until they are softened. Add the onion and garlic and sprinkle with a small amount of salt. Then add the water and cook this mixture until the vegetables are thoroughly tender but not mushy, about ten minutes. You will need to stir this mixture as it gets to the end of the cooking time to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
Add the kale leaves and cook for an additional one to two minutes, stirring them into the stem mixture. Then reduce the heat to low and cook this mixture for another fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture is done when it is very soft and thoroughly wilted.
Empty the skillet onto a cutting board and allow the vegetables to cool. Start the pasta water at this time; if you are using dried pasta, cook to al dente; if you are using fresh pasta, it will only take a minute or to to cook.
Using the same skillet, heat it over high heat, add the tablespoon of olive oil and then add the sausage. Allow it to cook without being stirred for about two minutes, or until the sausage is thoroughly browned. Then stir the sausage, breaking it apart into even smaller chunks, reduce the heat to medium and cook for another four minutes.
|I added a bit more onion to the sausage, but this isn't necessary.|
Add the tablespoon of butter, sprinkle in the cheese and stir to combine these ingredients with the sauce. Add the bread crumbs and stir again--you should have a lightly thickened sauce.