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

By Gather with Grana
June 25, 2018
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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

Serves: 6-12
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 15 min

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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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