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  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . Dress the kale lightly with a couple of tablespoons EVOO; season with salt and pepper. Arrange on 2 baking sheets and bake for about 15 minutes, rotating and switching the pans midway through.

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

  • Once the pasta water is boiling, if using the sausage, in a large skillet, drizzle 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, crumbling the meat, and cook until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. If youre skipping the sausage, heat the skillet to medium. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan, to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and chile pepper to the skillet and stir for a couple of minutes. Stir in the thyme and rosemary.

  • Whisk the reserved pasta cooking water into the garlic oil, then pour over the pasta. Add half of the crispy kale, the sausage (if using), ricotta and some nutmeg; toss vigorously to coat the pasta. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Serve in shallow bowls and top with the pecorino-romano and piles of the remaining crispy kale.