Metrocurean Cooks: Pasta With Sausage, Kale And Mascarpone

This is one of my go-to pasta dishes, inspired by a Food & Wine recipe. The addition of mascarpone cheese creates a simple velvety sauce that will make your friends think you worked harder than you did. It's a great all-season dish since you can find greens year-round. I sometimes use swiss chard, beet greens or dandelion greens, as well.

Orecchiette with Sausage, Kale and Mascarpone
serves 4-6

1 pound orecchiette pasta
3 fresh spicy pork sausages, casings removed
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green parts, cleaned and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch of kale, ribs removed and chopped into small pieces
1 tsp red pepper flakes
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
parsley for garnish

• Cook the pasta according to the instructions in a large pasta pot. Drain, but don’t rinse.
• Meanwhile, in a large pan, cook the sausage over medium high, breaking it into small chunks with a wooden spoon. Drain on paper towels, and pour most of the grease out of the pan.
• Return the pan to medium heat, and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the leeks and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
• In the pasta pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat and add the kale, tossing to coat. Cover and cook until just wilted, about 5 minutes.
• Add the cooked pasta, sausage, and leek and garlic mixture to the pasta pot and toss with kale to combine and heat through.
• Remove pot from heat. Add the red pepper flakes and mascarpone and stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Serve in large bowls and garnish with parsley.

green tip: Look for sausages that come from pigs raised without hormones or antibiotics.