This is the dish that sold me on the need to can tomatoes every summer. We tried canning them for the first time last summer, and I thought when we did it that it represented a colossal waste of time on a Sunday afternoon. But this dish highlights the sweetness of home-canned tomatoes, a sweetness that you can't buy. The kale was the best part of this. It had a tender, mild quality to it I've never tasted before except in perfectly cooked spinach. Maybe because it was home grown, maybe because it was simmered in the tomatoes and the sausage. Maybe it was just the butter, but I wish there had been leftovers.
3 cloves crushed and chopped garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes
4 cups thinly sliced kale
4 cups home canned tomatoes
1 pound cooked sweet Italian sausage, either crumbled or sliced
2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
1 pound penne or other pasta
1/3 cup grated parmesan
Begin with the sauce. In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat the oil, the butter, and the chopped garlic together. When the garlic starts to sizzle a little, add in the pepper flakes. Give it maybe 15 seconds to warm up and flavor the oil, and then add in the kale. Salt the kale a little to break it down, and once it looks a little cooked add in the tomatoes and sausage. Bring it to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer for a while. Taste it for salt and pepper and be sure the kale cooks down and the tomatoes disintegrate. As it simmers some of the excess liquid should evaporate so the sauce won't be too soupy.
Preheat the oven to 400.
Cook the pasta according to package directions, being sure to salt the water until it tastes good. After draining the pasta, stir it into the sauce. (I hope you used a REALLY big skillet!) Add in the shredded cheese and mix together. Pour the whole thing into a 9"x13" baking pan. Top with the parmesan cheese and put the whole thing in the oven until it looks a little browned and any cheese in it has melted, only about 15 minutes for me because it was all still hot from the stove and didn't require much time in the oven. If it had been refrigerated first maybe I would have cooked it at 350 for a half hour to forty-five minutes. Take it out and serve it hot.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!