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Farfalle with Italian Sausage and Tuscan Kale is a delicious, easy meal that the entire family will enjoy!We love making easy pasta dishes like today’s Farfalle with Italian Sausage and Tuscan Kale. This recipe is a delicious way to feed a crowd, it’s a great way to use up ingredients in your refrigerator and kitchen cupboard, and – if you happen have a backyard garden – a perfect way to use up some of your fresh garden-grown vegetables. Peppadew piquante peppers (my husband Jack’s latest food obsession) for a kick of sweet and spicy pepper flavor, a few salty anchovy fillets, and a generous amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You can, of course, adapt this recipe around other ingredients you have on hand. Feel free to select any other shape pasta, a spicy Italian sausage instead of the sweet, spinach or other greens in place of the kale, and use roasted red peppers and capers for different but still delicious zesty-salty kick of flavor.
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1 12-ounce box dry farfalle, or other pasta of your choice
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound Italian sweet sausage, removed from casing
½ cup jarred, mild piquante peppers, diced (*see Notes below – we like Peppadew)
6 anchovy fillets
3 large garlic cloves, smashed and coarsely chopped
4 cups Tuscan kale, stems removed, cleaned and cut into strips (**see Notes below)
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus another ½ cup to sprinkle on finished dish
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle over finished dish
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and once boiling salt the water with a generous amount of kosher salt. Then add the pasta and cook just shy of al dente.
While pasta is cooking, in a large high sided skillet or sauté pan, add two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat and add raw sausage and chopped piquante peppers. Break the meat apart as it cooks and cook until no more pink is left. Use a slotted spoon or spider and remove contents to a waiting bowl but leave fat in pan. Add enough olive oil to equal two tablespoons of fat in the pan.
Add the anchovies and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium until anchovies break up and garlic has browned.
Add the last of the olive oil if any is left.
Add the kale with any accumulated water trapped in the leaves and cook for another 4-5 minutes then add the sausage mixture back in along with the chicken stock and cook for five minutes at a gentle bubble.
If the sausage mixture is done before the pasta, just shut off the burner until the pasta is ready.
Using a spider or strainer, add the pasta to the sausage mixture along with one cup of pasta water and a half cup of the Parmesan cheese.
Cook over medium heat until the water evaporates and the pasta is cooked, maybe 2-3 more minutes.
Remove to a serving bowl and drizzle with the two tablespoons of olive oil and the remaining half cup of Parmesan cheese grated over the top.
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*Piquante peppers are small round bright red Italian peppers that are packed in a brine and jarred. They come in mild and hot. We used mild for this recipe. They are usually found in the produce section or the pickle and olive section or in the Italian specialty section. The brand we used was Peppadew.
**Tuscan Kale is actually very easy to prepare. You want to separate the leaves from the stems by grabbing the leaves at the base of the stem and gliding your fingers to the end, pulling the leaf from the stem as you pull down. Use the right amount of force, too much and the stem snaps, not enough and the leaf won’t pull away from the stem. It may take you a few tries to get the hang of it. Then take all of the leaves, pile them on top of each other and roll like a cigar. Hold that roll tight on your board and with a sharp knife, start cutting shreds from one end to the other. Once you reach the end, run the knife back through the pile a few times to cut the shreds. Rinse thoroughly in a colander and measure out four cups.