Sausage & Kale Creamy Pesto Pasta Bake

Sausage & Kale Creamy Pesto Pasta Bake

YUM, right? Recently, I saw this amazing looking recipe from one of my favorite blogs Spoon Fork Bacon for Sausage, Kale and Spatzle Pesto Bake and I wanted to make (and eat) it right away. While spatzle has always been delicious and I’ve always wanted to try making it, I, unfortunately, didn’t have the time (or maybe patience?) to make it in full this weekend – soooo I adjusted the recipe to be pasta based. And I must stay, it turned out nicely! The kale and sausage mix is a tasty balance. And the SFB creamy pesto is a perfectly light, creamy coating for the dish!

Sausage & Kale Creamy Pesto Pasta Bake

Inspired by Spoon Fork Bacon’s Sausage, Kale and Spatzle Pesto Bake

Tools:

Medium skillet
9″x13″ baking dish


Ingredients:

Basil Pesto: 
1 garlic clove
3 T toasted pine nuts
1 C packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
3 T grated Parmesan

Other: 
2 C pasta (I used
4 T extra virgin olive oil
2 smoked sausages (thinly sliced)
1/2 bunch dino kale (ribs removed and chopped)
1 T unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 shallot (minced)
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1/3 C grated Parmesan (divided)
S + P

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. For Pesto: Pulse garlic, pine nuts and basil to food processor and pulse until blended together. Add oil slowly (with the processor running if you can) to steadily mix. Add parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and move to the side.
  3. For Pasta: Add pasta (I used XYZ) to boiling water and cook until al dente. When finished, strain and add to 9″x13″ baking dish.
  4. For Bake: While pasta is cooking, use a medium-sized skillet to cook sausage.  Over medium heat add 1 teaspoon of oil, followed by sausage and saute for 3-5 minutes (or until the edges begin to brown). Remove from skillet and add to baking dish.
  5. Add remaining oil to skillet and saute kale for 3-4 minutes or until kale has changed color and wilts. Season with salt and pepper and add to baking dish with sausage.
  6. Lower the heat to low-medium and melt butter. Add garlic and shallot and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cream has reduced and thickened. Stir in 3T of parmesan cheese and simmer for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Remove from heat and mix pesto into cream mixture.
  8. Pour pesto cream sauce over the pasta mixture and fold together until completely combined and everything is evenly coated then top with remaining parmesan.
  9. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until casserole is bubbling and the top has browned slightly. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes and serve.
  10. Enjoy!

On a related and completely unsolicited note, Spoon Fork Bacon has always wowed me with their amazing recipes (I’ve even shared stuff from them before). If you’re not already signed up to get their regular recipe emails DO IT. And follow them on Instagram because…NOM. Even if you’ll never make their recipes, they are just so darn beautiful! And/or, like this recipe, they inspire you to make something new (even if it’s not exactly the same)!