Italian Sausage & Kale Bake

Serves 4 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 45 mins

If you are watching your waistline then opt for a low-fat version of both cheeses used here. Personally, this is my comfort food / treat yourself dish. I avoid dairy and wheat out of choice, but when I want to indulge- this is what I cook. I still used wheat free pasta when cooking this for the pictures. This dish could work either in Summer or Winter. If you cannot get Italian sausage then your supermarket should offer a Sicilian style sausage which you can substitute. I like making this dish and putting them into individual dishes for everyone with a big green salad to share.

KALE– I use kale in this recipe as it bulks out the dish at no calorie expense. There are only 50 calories in 100g kale. Kale is really high in iron, per calorie more so than beef. (SOURCE: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Eating-Kale.html ) Rich in vitamins A, C, K, kale has been marked as a “superfood” for years now.

I try and keep kale in my meals where I can as is great for the immune system.

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil (I used rice bran oil for it’s health properties)

250g pasta (I used organic wheat free shells)

100g kale, shredded

400g Italian sausage / 1 pack Italian style sausages, removed from casings

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, sliced

400g can Italian chopped tomatoes

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150g mozzarella, cubed

1tbsp soft cheese

1 tbsp italian seasoning

½ red chilli, finely chopped

Splash of red wine (optional)

 

Heat your oven to 210c / 190c (fan) / Gas Mark 6

 

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, adding the kale in for the last remaining minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a frying pan until brown, and remove from the pan.
  3. Cook out the onion with 2 tbsp oil for 8-10 mins
  4. Add garlic, chilli, Italian seasoning and cook for 1 minute further.
  5. If you’re adding the splash of wine to the dish, then do so now and let it bubble for a minute or 2.
  6. Add the tomatoes and most of your cooked sausage and cook out for a few minutes.
  7. Tip your sauce into the pasta and kale pot and mix well.
  8. Spoon your pasta mix into separate casserole dishes or a large casserole dish.
  9. Top with remaining sausage mix and a sprinkle more of Italian seasoning. You could even top with a bit more mozzarella if you have it, but just remember mozzarella is high in saturated fats.
  10. Place dish in oven and bake for 25 minutes, Serve.