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Horizontal image of a pasta dish with cooked crumbled meat and kale in a creamy sauce on a white plate.

Sausage, Kale, and White Bean Pasta Toss

  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Sick of the same old pasta sauce? Try this trick: pureed cannellini beans create a creamy coating for noodles, sausage, and kale.


  • 1 pound rigatoni 
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups packed chopped fresh kale
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Just before draining, reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the sausage and season it with 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the onions, garlic, beans, sage, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, the remaining teaspoon of salt, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Saute until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, scraping to remove any brown bits from the bottom.
  4. Transfer half of the bean and stock mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the mixture to the pan and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Return the sausage to the pan along with the cooked pasta, kale, and 1/4 cup of the parmesan. Toss, adding a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water at a time, until the kale is wilted and the sauce clings to the pasta. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Divide the pasta among plates and garnish with the remaining olive oil, parmesan, and parsley.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: kale, white bean, pasta, sausage, Italian