Fettuccine with Turkey Sausage and Kale
When I blogged on my last weekend's baking, I threw in a photo of the pasta batch I had also made. Well, the pasta generated as much discussion as the breads … maybe more. So, I thought I'd write up the pasta dish we had for dinner tonight. (I know it's not bread, but I hope it's okay to post it on TFL anyway.)
Fettuccine with Turkey Sausage and Kale
I use Marcella Hazan's recipe for fresh pasta. It calls for 2 large eggs and 1 ½ cups of AP flour. I used Caputo tipo 00 Italian flour and found I had to add a couple tablespoons of water for the dough to come together.
I mix the dough in a food processor. It ends up in the bowl like coarse cornmeal, but, when pressed together and kneaded, it forms a firm dough. I roll the dough into a log, wrap it in wax paper and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. This works like an autolyse to evenly hydrate the flour.
I then divide the dough log into 4-6 equal pieces with a sharp knife and make pasta sheets with an Atlas, hand cranked pasta machine. After drying these for a few minutes until they are leathery, I cut them into the desired widths with the Atlas attachment. If the dough is sticky, it should be dusted with flour before cutting. The cut pasta is then dried completely (12 hours) before placing in plastic bag for storage. If completely dried, it will keep at room temperature for months. When rolled to the thinnest setting, this cooks in a couple minutes, tops.
The sauce comes from the March, 2006 Gourmet Magazine. It can also be found on Epicurious.com here.
I make my own turkey sausage, using a recipe for home made Italian Sausage, substituting ground turkey thigh meat for pork shoulder. Here's my recipe for the sausage:
This is the original recipe scaled down for 1 lb of meat and with my notes in italic:
1 lb. ground pork shoulder. I use ground turkey or chicken dark meat.
1 clove crushed garlic.
¼ cup cold water. Omit if using ground poultry.
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp fennel seeds (preferably ground)
1 T grated pecorino romano cheese. I use parmesan.
1 T chopped Italian parsley
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (Optional)
Mix all ingredients together.
This freezes well. It is wonderful in sauces for pasta and on pizza.
Since Kale is unfamiliar to many, a few words about it seem called for. Kale is a green, leafy member of the cabbage family. It has been cultivated in Europe as long as history has been written. I have read that it was among the most common vegetables eaten in Europe prior to the late Middle Ages. It has many nutritional virtues, including powerful anti-oxidants and lots of vitamins and minerals. (For more information, see Wikipedia on Kale.)
Recipes using kale generally neglect the basics of preparing it for cooking. It has a fibrous central midrib that is not edible. After washing, the edible leaf is cut away from the midrib. The kale is often parboiled before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
Kale, washed before removing stems
I cut along each side of the central stem with a sharp paring knife, then pull the stem free
Kale after removing the stems
So, with that introduction, here is my version of the recipe for Fettuccine with Turkey Sausage and Kale (Note: This recipe serves 4 as a main course):
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb turkey Italian sausage, crumbled
1/2 lb kale, tough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 lb fettuccine
2/3 cup home made chicken broth
1 oz finely grated parmesano reggiano cheese (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook sausage, breaking up any lumps with a spoon, until browned and no longer pink inside, 5 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, blanch kale in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water , uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove kale with a large sieve and drain.
Keep the cooking water in the pot and return it to a boil, then cook pasta in boiling water, uncovered, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.
While pasta cooks, add kale to sausage in skillet and saute, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 5 minutes.
Sausage and Kale, at this point in the recipe
Add broth, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water to skillet, tossing until combined. Stir in cheese and thin with additional cooking water if desired.
Serve immediately, with additional cheese on the side.