Kale, sausage, and chickpea pasta

4 November 2019

On Friday evening, I posted a little three-part Instagram story. In it, I gave a brief tour of my looks-like-a-bomb-went-off downstairs, then cut to me stirring a pot of one of our go-to weeknight meals. I declared it an example of one of my favorite life drumbeats: the idea of trade offs, those times when we knowingly let go of one thing in pursuit of a better thing. I wanted to share the reality that in this season, at these ages, the only way we can sit down to a weeknight homemade meal together is to be okay with June and Shep totally dismantling our downstairs while I cook.

Do I like my house looking like a bomb went off? No.

But I like eating a yummy dinner together more than I like having a tidy house, and so that is a trade off I can live with.

The response to the Stories was swift – dozens of gals saying how encouraging this slice of “real life” was to see and thanking me for sharing it. This perplexed me a bit, even as I was glad it resonated. While it’s true that I don’t often share these types of messy “real life” glimpses, it’s certainly not because they don’t happen – it’s because I’m too busy living that chaotic real life to stop, capture it, and package it for sharing. But of course all of our lives look like this sometimes!!! (Most of the time?) Sometimes real life looks like this, and sometimes real life looks like every toy in the house scattered on the floor. That’s my life right now, and if it’s yours, too, know that we’re in the same boat – even if we can’t always see it.

Anyway – in addition to the thank yous, many gals requested the recipe I was cooking, and I’m happy to share! It’s a special one in our house. Our friends the Henrys made it for us the week before June was born, and so no matter how many times we make it (which is many many many), it will always be wrapped up in the emotions of impending parenthood. It’s good in every season and comes together really quickly – it’s one of the only recipes I have memorized! Read on for the simple tips that make it sing…

Kale, Sausage, and Chickpea Pasta

1 box bowtie pasta
2-3 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb mild Italian sausage, ground
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
Shredded parmesan

In a large pot (we use our big Le Creuset), heat 2 Tbs. olive oil on medium-high and add sausage. Cook, stirring and chopping into pieces until it’s begun to crisp and brown (this usually takes about 15 minutes for me, FYI!).

In a separate pot, cook the pasta per instructions. Drain and set aside, reserving some liquid at the end.

Add the minced garlic to the sausage and cook on low for 30 seconds. Add the drained chickpeas and cook for a few more minutes. Add the kale and cook down until the kale is wilted, a few minutes more. Add the pasta and stir to combine.

Working in layers, stir in salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, a little bit of pasta water, and a generous amount of parmesan cheese. Keep adding in each element a little at a time until it looks and tastes good!

Squeeze lemon wedges over individual servings and add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to taste!

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November 4, 2019 8:00 pm

This sounds yummy! I have actually been on the lookout for chickpea recipes lately and I don‘t think I‘ve seen one with pasta yet. I‘ll definitely give this one a try! Also, I did love the trade-off/reality instagram story! Even though, I know that we all do this all the time (and I do love me a tidy house), it’s nice to actually see other people‘s messes every once in a while, ha! So, thanks for both: the recipe and the glimpse into real life :-)

November 6, 2019 2:23 pm

So glad you posted this because when I saw the story I definitely wondered what that pot contained!

November 7, 2019 4:14 pm

“…it’s because I’m too busy living that chaotic real life to stop, capture it, and package it for sharing.” Ooh yes. Amen to that. My house being messy is a good sign that I should not be on Instagram because there’s clearly stuff to do :)

November 8, 2019 9:39 am

I made this last night and have a feeling that it will be going on our regular rotation as well! Thanks for sharing the recipe and for the inspiration in all things, always!

Rhiannon Bosse
November 11, 2019 4:05 pm

Sending this link to Andrew right now! Sounds delicious and like it needs to get into our weekly meal rotation.

January 26, 2022 2:33 pm

Found this through your Top 10+ Recipe post. I was wondering how does this reheat? I’m thinking of making it for a few lunches throughout the week but didn’t know if it reheated well? Thanks!

January 28, 2022 10:33 am

So good! I might have to try this this weekend.

April 10, 2022 11:47 am

This is DELICIOUS! Thank you for making