Kale and Sausage Burrata Pasta with Caramelized Onions
A skillet meal of Italian sausage, fresh kale, and caramelized onions tossed with pasta shells and bound together with creamy burrata cheese.
One of my go-to ways to cook a pile of produce from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share is a stir fry. It's pretty fast to throw together once all the vegetables are prepped, and you can customize the flavors as simple or as complex as you like. I've shared a handful of stir fry recipes in the Recipe Index by Category on the right sidebar, but it's often just a quickly thrown together, very little planning, dish.
This dish is the pasta equivalent of a stir fry. I started off like usually I do for a stir fry, by cooking the meat and vegetables in a skillet. Instead of firing up the rice cooker (or delegating that to a kid), I'd boiled some water in my pretty purple pot. Once the pasta, meat, and vegetables are cooked it's a simple matter to toss everything together with the burrata and you're ready to eat.
Whenever I see burrata cheese marked down at the fancy cheese counter I pick up a tub. I've kept the marked down tubs for up to 2 weeks and, when we're ready for a hearty pasta supper, I crack the burrata open and we dig in.
This is my third recipe using burrata. I've got a vegetarian Easy Artichoke and Arugula Pesto Burrata Pasta and a Butternut Squash and Sausage Burrata Pasta already posted. If you're looking to cook more greens with pasta, I've also got a Fast Greens 'n Pasta Concept Recipe which is another terrific way to enjoy greens in a family-friendly pasta dish.
Note: I'm using caramelized onions in this dish simply because I have them on hand. In the Fall, as the farmer's markets are winding down, I like to stock up on local produce that I can put up. Last year I bought a bunch of sweet onions at my local farmer's market and caramelized them in my crock pot before freezing in small portions. I use Dorothy's recipe to caramelize onions in the crock pot. Using my vacuum sealer it's easy to save a recipe size portion and I get that extra boost of flavor without any additional time or effort. Please feel free to use a diced onion, and just sauté it when you're cooking the sausage, but next time you get a pile of onions consider caramelizing and putting them up for later use. It's another way I eat local produce year round.
For more recipes using cooking greens (like kale, chard, spinach, or beet, mustard or turnip greens) please see my Cooking Greens Recipes Collection. For more recipes using kale, please see my Kale Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating seasonally in places where it seems greens are always in season. I'm sharing more greens recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. I'm sharing interesting recipes and articles on my Facebook page, follow me there. I'm sharing a carefully curated look behind the scenes on my Instagram feed, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?
Kale and Sausage Burrata Pasta with Caramelized Onions (serves 4-6)
- 1 pound pasta (I'm partial to medium size shells, but something with curves is nice)
- ½ pound Italian sausage, crumbled is easier than links
- 1 large bunch kale, stems removed and leaves sliced into ribbons
- 1 cup caramelized onions (or 1 diced onion, see Note above)
- 1 container (8 ounces) burrata cheese
- salt for the pasta water and freshly ground pepper to taste
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, prepare pasta according to package directions. Save a cup of pasta water--I do this by sticking a glass measuring cup or jar in the sink under the colander, but you could also scoop out a cup before draining the pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, preheat a large skillet with a lid (I use my 12 inch cast iron) over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and break it up into small pieces as it starts to brown.
- If you are using a raw onion, add the diced onion into the skillet now.
- After the sausage is mostly browned (about 8 to 10 minutes), add the sliced kale leaves to the skillet and stir to coat with fat. Add the caramelized onions too at this point, if you've got them.
- Cover the skillet and allow the kale to wilt for 2-3 minutes, then uncover and give everything a stir. Reduce heat to low.
- When everything is cooked and you're ready to assemble, spread cooked pasta across the sausage vegetable mixture. Rip up the burrata into small pieces and lay across the hot pasta.
- Use tongs to toss the pasta, cheese, and vegetables together. If it seems dry, add a bit of the reserved pasta water until the cheese clings to the noodles and vegetables. Serve with freshly ground pepper.