It can be challenging to find quick, inexpensive meals to make in graduate school, and this pasta dish is one of my recent successes. It makes a nice change from grilled cheese and scrambled eggs! —ChristineB
spaghetti, linguine, or another long thin pasta
large mild Italian sausages, removed from the casings and cut into bite size pieces
large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
small bunches kale (one bunch, if large), cleaned and roughly chopped
small zucchini (2 or 3 if medium or large), cut into thin discs
Bring a large pot of well salted water to boil, and meanwhile heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet. Saute the sausage and the red pepper flakes in the oil until cooked through, then transfer to a bowl.
Add the second tablespoon of oil to the pan along with the kale, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan too, to encourage the kale to wilt. Cook until the kale is wilted, the zucchini is cooked through, and the tomatoes pop open. Season to taste with salt, then add the sausage back to the pan.
Cook the pasta in the boiling water. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the sauce, along with the butter, 1/4 cup of the cheese, basil, and the reserved cooking water. Toss to mix thoroughly, top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, then serve.