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Sausage & Kale Baked Rigatoni

by Taylor Gilkey September 28, 2016 0 Comments

Pure Fat-isfaction

We had a long day. We were starving. We wanted something simple, rich and fat-isfying :). We didn’t want to go to the store. We didn’t worry about fitting into our wedding outfits. We made the best. baked. pasta.



½ stick of butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves minced garlic

½ minced shallot (two tablespoons)

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1lb Rigatoni (any pasta will work, but rigatoni sure takes on all the flavors)!  And lets be honest …its TUBE-ular.

1 ½ cup cream

1 cup grated parmesan (any Italian cheese or blend is great)

1 cup grated mozzarella

2 cups chopped kale

½ pound Italian sausage (mild or hot)

½ Cup Chicken Broth

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh oregano

1 teaspoon fresh sage

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Salt and Pepper


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.Get your salted water boiling in a pot large enough to hold one pound of pasta. Cook the pasta until it still has some crunch! (Al Dente for the fancies) Strain and set aside.


While the water is boiling mince your garlic and shallot, and chop the kale. Mise en place and make sure all your minced items are within reach.


Start cookin! We used a 10 inch lodge cast iron pan on medium high heat. Add the Italian sausage to the heated pan. Break the sausage apart with a wooden spoon and cook through. Don’t forget the crispy bits leave a ton a flavor. Once the sausage is cooked, remove it and place on paper towels, on a plate. Pour most of the fat from the sausage, but not all of it. FAT=FLAVOR!


Return the pan to heat and add the olive oil and butter on medium heat.


When the butter melts and the oil is hot add the shallots and garlic. Make sure it’s not too hot, burned garlic is nasty AF. Once the garlic and the shallots become translucent add the red pepper flake, minced oregano, thyme, sage, lemon juice and stir to combine. Now, we need to move fast!


Add Kale to the pan and toss in all the flavorful goodness that’s going on. Same thing for the sausage. Then, add the pasta and toss. Mix everything together, being careful not to break the pasta.


Once everything is mixed together toss in the parmesan cheese, cream and chicken broth. The liquids will need to reduce until the cream thickens. Toss a little more and make sure all the ingredients are sharing their flavors. Sharing is caring.  Remove from the heat and let sit for a couple minutes. Fluff the densness up and make sure your pasta isn’t a brick.


Top with mozzarella and carefully place in the pre heated oven. Cook for 15 minutes until the mozzarella browns, kind of like a crust. We turned the broiler on for 3 minutes after because we are all about that crunch…bout that crunch…bout that crunch….no wiggle.


We added some fresh herbs (Sage, oregano and just a little basil)


Let sit for five minutes and serve in the cast iron, outside with a large glass of wine (or two, or three).


Enjoy your night and let the food coma take hold….


Leave the dishes until tomorrow.


xo- Tay


Taylor Gilkey
Taylor Gilkey


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