Fussili with Crispy Kale and Ricotta

Fusilli with Crispy Kale & Ricotta

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray March 2011 


1 lb black kale - stemmed, washed and dried

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper

1 lb fusilli pasta

1 lb hot or sweet italian bulk sausage (I left this out)

3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 small italian red cherry chili pepper (my grocery didn't have these so I just used a few red & yellow mini peppers)

2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

A couple small sprigs rosemary, finely chopped (I omitted these due to my loathing of rosemary)*

1 1/2 cups fresh sheep's or cow's milk ricotta (my grocery doesn't carry fresh ricotta so I used regular whole milk)

freshly grader nutmeg
shaved pecorino-romano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle a few tbsp of extra virgin olive oil over the kale (place 1/2 of kale on a baking sheet and the other half on another baking sheet) and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, rotate baking sheets half way through baking time.  

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain pasta and return to pot, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.


If using sausage, drizzle 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high.  Add the sausage by crumbling the meat into skillet and cook until browned.  Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage to a plate and set aside.  Add remaining 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to skillet and reduce heat to medium and add garlic and chili pepper and stir a couple minutes.  Stir in the thyme and rosemary.

Whisk reserved pasta water into the garlic oil, pour over pasta and add half the crispy kale, the sausage, ricotta, and some nutmeg.  Toss to coat, season with salt and pepper and extra nutmeg if needed. Serve with pecorino-romano cheese and piles of crispy kale on the side.