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This Creamy Parmesan Sausage and Kale Pasta is a comforting meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes. 

Creamy Parmesan, Sausage, and Kale Penne |

It’s the simple things.

Thick woolly slippers.

An empty dishwasher.

Peeling off the sticker on that Kohl’s advertisement and revealing the coveted 30% off coupon.

Sushi on the living room floor.

The frantic tail wags of a dog so thrilled just to see you walk through the door.

Red box movies.

A creamy bowl of pasta.

This is one of the most rewarding things about cooking. Sure, it’s great to spend hours preparing an elaborate feast, but when you can spend 30 minutes in the kitchen and come out with something rich and satisfying, that’s true success.

Creamy Parmesan, Kale, and Sausage Pasta |

This is one of those successes. It takes about 20 minutes to make this dish, and about 2 seconds to realize it’s going to become a regular on your dinner rotation for the winter.  The heft and slight bitterness of kale blends well with the creamy sauce. And the sausage? Well, sausage just makes everything better.

The ingredient list for this dish is short, so make each one really great. Get some good quality Parmesan, fresh lemon juice, your favorite Italian sausage. I like Bob Evan’s Italian sausage, but if you’re not a friend of fennel you may prefer a regular breakfast sausage.

Creamy Parmesan, Kale, and Sausage Pasta |

Give yourself 20 minutes to make this satisfying dish, and you’ll be left with plenty of time to enjoy all the other slightly more complicated pleasures of life.

Creamy Sausage and Kale Penne
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Kale, Italian sausage, and penne are tossed in a simple cream and Parmesan sauce for a super quick and satisfying weeknight meal.
Recipe by:
Serves: 4
  • ½ lb. sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • ¾ cup half and half
  • About 6 large kale leaves, torn from the rib and roughly chopped
  • Splash lemon juice
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz. penne pasta
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and pepper and cook until sausage is browned and pepper is softened, about 7 minutes. Add half and half to skillet and let cook down until reduced by about half, or approximately another 7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, start a pot of water to boil for the penne. Cook according to package directions. Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water when draining. Once drained, return pasta to the pot and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil.
  3. Add kale to the sausage mixture and let wilt. Add lemon juice and red pepper flakes, stirring to combine. Add penne and cheese to the skillet and toss. If sauce is too thick, add pasta water to thin it out and make it spread. Serve warm with good crusty bread and a side salad!

 Recipe adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray

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