Penne with Sausage Meatballs and Kale

There was very little talking going on at the dinner table last night…we were too busy eating. Seriously. Good.

1 T olive oil
12 ounces Italian sausage, casing removed
1/2 bunch Italian kale, center rib removed, leaves chopped (about two firmly cupped packed cups)
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
3 T tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz penne pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Break off small meatball-sized bits of Italian sausage (1 heaping tsp) and roll between your hands to make into a ball. Place them in the pan.

Reduce heat to medium and saute, stirring occasionally until the sausage is cooked through.

Add the kale and rosemary and saute until the kale is wilted. Add the tomato paste and wine, stir to combine, cover, and reduce heat to low.

Cook pasta per the directions on the package. When you are ready to drain the pasta, reserve 2/3 cup of the pasta water.

Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water to the sausage mixture, bring to a simmer, stirring to coat the pasta with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the pasta mixture into a large serving bowl, toss with Parmesan and serve.

Did I change anything? The original recipe called for 2T of tomato paste. I added a little more. Also, I added maybe 2T more wine than the recipe calls for. Also, I didn’t use spinach, but I bet if you didn’t want to use kale you could substitute fresh spinach instead.

What did the family think? This was the best dinner we have had in a long time.

Where did this recipe come from? I found it in our local newspaper. They got it from Ivy Manning.

photo from


Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian

2 Responses to Penne with Sausage Meatballs and Kale

  1. Sarah T

    This was delicious!

  2. Nina

    I haven’t made this is a while. Thank you for reminding me…it just might go on our menu for this week.

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