Weeknight Gratin: Spicy Italian Sausage & Kale

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It’s finally Friday! It has been a long week, but nevertheless, I made it. I wanted to make a simple one-pot dinner for the two of us tonight. I wanted to eat, share stories, catch up, and enjoy the start of a weekend. We did exactly just that, followed by a scoop of our favorite gelato from Melt.

Spicy Italian Sausage & Kale Gratin

This recipe from LA Times caught my eye a couple weeks ago, but I had forgotten about it until today. It was delicious like a childhood favorite, crunchy like a fresh salad, and creamy like a cheesy casserole.

Spicy Italian Sausage & Kale Gratin
Adapted from LA Times

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1lb of spicy Italian Sausage (casings removed and crumbled)
  • 1/3 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 bunches of kale, torn into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 2 cups of milk (I used nonfat milk and it tasted fine)
  • 4 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese (I used part-skim and low-moisture, it worked out well)
  • 1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp of melted butter
  • 1 tbsp of minced fresh herbs (I used oregano, basil and thyme)
  • 1 puff pastry sheet (optional)
  • Egg mixture (1 egg + 1 tbsp of water) for puff pastry (optional)
Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in crumbled sausage and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and cook, scraping flavors from the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until the wine reduces and is mostly evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium.
  4. Stir in the kale, a handful at a time, and stir with sausage until it begins to wilt and turn bright green. Continue adding kale until it is all added and is just wilted. Be careful not to overcook the kale. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking frequently, and reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Mix the mozzarella into the sauce until the cheese is just melted and the sauce is smooth. Using a slotted spoon, add the kale and sausage. It will be a little sticky but try to incorporate the cheese sauce well with the kale and sausage. Remove from heat.
  7. Spoon mixture into a gratin dish.
  8. In a medium bowl, combine Parmigiano-Reggiano, bread crumbs, and herbs. Pour over melted butter and stir until butter is evenly distributed to form topping.
  9. Sprinkle topping over kale and sausage mixture. I added long flat strips of puff pastry sheets across the top of the gratin dish to form a crust. If you prefer to have a crust, brush the strips lightly with egg mixture.
  10. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

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12 comments for “Weeknight Gratin: Spicy Italian Sausage & Kale

  1. BestOodles
    June 25, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Oh I love combination of sausage and kale, it's delicious dish not to mention great looking photo you have here.

  2. Junia
    June 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    i've never heard of a kale gratin! what a great idea!!! 😀

  3. rosemarried
    June 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I have more kale than I know what to do with in my garden right now, and this looks like a fantastic way to use some of it up! Thanks for sharing.

  4. tigerfish
    June 27, 2011 at 2:51 am

    I like the addition of kale in your gratin! Makes it much more nutritious. 🙂

  5. John
    June 27, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Looks irresistibly hearty and full of nice texture. Nice lighting and color in this shot as well.

  6. Ruth
    June 27, 2011 at 9:01 am

    This looks great! Really hearty and it looks absolutely delicious. I think the crust on this really tops it off well!

  7. Jay
    June 27, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I want this right now..!!! looks so yummmmmmmmmmy…
    Tasty Appetite

  8. Tes
    June 27, 2011 at 10:32 am

    This looks so comforting… I would probably make this for breakfast tomorrow 🙂

  9. Lizzy
    June 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    This looks marvelous…especially with that crisp bread crumb topping! YUM!

  10. Faith
    June 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Hearty and comforting meals like this are the perfect way to unwind at the end of the week! This really looks incredible, especially with that golden topping and creamy sauce!

  11. Christine's Pantry
    June 28, 2011 at 3:29 am

    Looks wonderful! Yummy!

  12. Stephanie
    June 28, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Oh my god. This looks heavenly! What a great close-up shot of it, too! 🙂 I think I definitely, must, absolutely have to make this soon!!

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