Make Ahead

Lemony Cracked Kale and Italian Sausage Pasta Salad with Grana Padano Dressing

June 25, 2018
Photo by Gather with Grana
Author Notes

An easy picnic crowd pleaser, this bright and flavorful pasta salad can also be a quick weeknight dinner and is great for leftovers. —Gather with Grana

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 6-12
  • 6 leaves of kale, washed, dried and destemmed
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon salt, divided
  • 1 pound orecchiette or casarecce pasta
  • 1 lemon, zested, then cut in half along the fat part of the center.
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Italian sausages, cooked through, cooled and cut on a diagonal
  • 3/4 cup grated Grana Padano, divided
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 12 leaves basil, chiffonaded
In This Recipe
  1. To make the kale, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, toss kale in 1 tablespoon of the oil and and about 1 teaspoon of the salt and lay in single layer on lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crisp and brown, keeping a close eye so it doesn't burn. Allow to cool, then break into bite-sized pieces.
  2. While the oven heats, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous amount to the pot (it should taste like the sea). Cook the pasta until tender, drain, toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spread out on a sheet pan to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small non-stick pan over medium-high heat and place lemons cut side down. Allow to cook, untouched, for 7-10 minutes, until caramelized. Cool and juice.
  4. To make dressing, shake lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic, oregano, pepper, 1/4 cup of the Grana Padano and 1/2 tsp of the salt together in a tightly sealed jar, or whisk in a small boil. Add the oil and shake/whisk again until well combined.
  5. Toss kale, pasta, sausage pieces, shallot in about 1/4 cup of the dressing. Mix in remaining Grana Padano, basil and the lemon zest. Chill and serve when ready.

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