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Cookbook Pasta Sausage

Penne with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Kale

Yield: 4 servings

This is a quick, filling, colorful dish for an easy mid-day supper.

8 ounces Uncooked whole wheat penne
½ cup Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 cups Chopped onion
8 ounces Italian sausage, mild or hot as you prefer, removed from casing
6 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Crushed red pepper
1 ½ cup Chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can Diced tomatoes, drained
1 large bunch Fresh kale, leaves removed from stems and sliced into ribbons
1 (15-ounce) can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained or equivalent home-cooked
1/3 cup Shredded mozzarella
1 ounce Shaved fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
Zest strips from one lemon (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid; keep warm.

2. Drain sun-dried tomatoes in a small sieve over a bowl, reserving the oil; slice tomatoes.

3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sun-dried tomato oil and heat. When oil is hot, add the onion and cook until it softens, approximately 3 minutes. Add half of the sun-dried tomatoes and the sausage, breaking into small pieces. Cook 10 minutes or until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble.

4. Add garlic and cook until it releases its fragrance, about 1 minute. Add Italian seasoning, red pepper, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes. Stir in kale; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until kale is tender.

5. Stir in pasta, half of the reserved pasta cooking liquid as needed, remaining sun-dried tomatoes, beans and mozzarella. Heat through until mixture is thoroughly warmed, adding the remaining pasta cooking liquid as needed. To serve, top with shaved Parmesan and lemon zest.

Source: Adapted by Steph from Cooking Light, November 2007