Do you have a list of states/countries you’d love to see? I recently told my husband we should start putting together a list just in case one of them slips our mind some day. I think it would be a way to make our adventures together more official, and it would be fun crossing places off our list, recounting the memories we shared.
One of our top places to eventually visit (that will never slip my mind) is Italy. My Nonno and Nonna were born in Calabria in a town called Catanzaro. I’ve dreamed about going to see the town where they grew up and squeezing in a few other cities like Rome, Florence and the Amalfi Coast.
We hope to go sometime in the next few years and I already plan on gaining ten pounds when we visit because I know I’m going to want every pasta dish, and with every forkful, I’m going to want a cup of gelato too.
For now, eating an al dente, thick fettucine or pappardelle pasta at home will be the closest I get to Italy’s creations. Yesterday, I decided to crack open a couple of packages of pappardelle and tossed it with ricotta, kale and Italian sausage. I absolutely loved the combination of the three – so dreamy and delicious. The ricotta gave the dish a smooth creaminess and the kale and sausage married together well to create a salty and very subtle bitter bite. The best part was the pappardelle though.
I was actually only introduced to pappardelle pasta a few years ago (my Nonna doesn’t ever make it). If you have yet to try it, I highly suggest you do. To me, the thicker the noodle, the better. Pappardelle is smooth, but when cooked properly has a nice bite. I love it so much. If you’re looking to buy some, try Trader Joe’s! And if you buy some, you should definitely try this recipe – I promise you’ll want more than a few forkfuls.
If you end up making this dish, don’t forget to tag your photos with #marinamakeseats!
Pappardelle with Sausage, Kale and Ricotta
- 12 oz of pappardelle pasta
- 4 cups of kale ripped off the stem and finely chopped
- 1 pound of mild or spicy Italian sausage
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves or garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups of whole milk ricotta
- 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
- 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
Place a dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook sausage until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from the pan and set aside. Add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped kale and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the same pan. Stir and cook until the kale is wilted. Once the kale is wilted, remove from the pan and set aside. You can turn the heat off at this point.
Next, heat a large pot of water over high heat. Bring the water to a boil and add a good amount of salt. Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to packaging (I recommend draining it 1-2 minutes prior to the time listed on the package). Reserve about a half cup of pasta water.
While the pasta is cooking, add minced garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan you cooked the sausage and kale in. Cook at a medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add heavy cream, ricotta and parmesan. Whisk to combine until smooth. Increase heat and bring cream to a boil. Continue whisking until thickened.
Remove from heat and add the cooked pasta, sausage and kale. Add a little of the reserved past water to help mix everything together.