“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
As promised yesterday, today is our "round two recipe" where I'll be using up the second half of my whole wheat penne and bag of kale for Pasta Week here at Sweet Cayenne. I strongly considered calling this dish "kitchen sink pasta" because that's essentially what this recipe is. I love a good versatile recipe that allows for easy substitutions so that you can use whatever you have on hand. Pasta is such a reliable base for a meal because it's unfussy, filling, and ultimately very satisfying when paired with fresh and boldly flavored vegetables and lean protein.
This "kitchen sink pasta" is a great weeknight go-to meal for me for several reasons:
- It can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
- It's cost effective - I only used 4 ounces of meat for the whole dish, mainly for flavor. The rest of the protein and a good dose of satiating fiber come from a can of creamy white beans and the whole grain goodness of the penne. Using meat as an embellishment rather than the star of a meal will stretch your dollar!
- It's a flavor-packed party for your mouth = bold fire-roasted tomatoes + a hearty helping of fresh basil + the salty, buttery bite of Parmesan cheese.
- It's pretty to look at - we eat with our eyes!
This one-dish-wonder packs beautifully for lunch the next day and is also freezer-friendly - just leave out the fresh basil and Parmesan cheese and add these once you have thawed and reheated the pasta dish. Tell me friends, what's your favorite combination for kitchen sink pasta? I'd love to read about it in the comments section below!
Tuscan Penne with Sausage, Kale, and Cannelini Beans
- ½ box about 2 ½ cups whole wheat dried penne pasta
- 4 ounces Italian chicken or turkey sausage
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
- 4 cups stemmed and chopped kale
- 1 can cannelini beans rinsed thoroughly and drained
- ½ cup fresh basil
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- While the pasta water comes to a boil, brown the sausage in a large skillet. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and kale. Place a lid on the skillet and simmer for 7-8 minutes or until the kale is tender.
- Add the hot cooked pasta and the cannelini beans to sausage mixture in the skillet. Toss, and add reserved pasta water as needed to make a loose sauce (you will likely need about ⅓ cup of the water).
- Toss the hot pasta with fresh basil and Parmesan and serve immediately.
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