Dead of winter equals tough times for local eaters. Fresh produce is scarce, and there’s the problem of cooking with what is available, inevitably stuff like turnips or kale and potatoes. Here’s a pasta dish that calls for standard winter ingredients and hangs together marvelously. You can substitute most types of winter greens for the kale and use shallots in place of leeks, if that’s what you have. We’ve tried a dozen iterations; they’re all tasty. And you’ll be sitting down to eat in twenty minutes.

Recipe: Pasta with Kale and Sausage

1 small leek / 2 pork sausages / 2 cloves garlic / 1 bunch kale / ½ cup stock / hot pepper flakes, optional / salt & pepper / cooked pasta for 2 / 1 tbl olive oil / grated parmesan cheese

Slice leeks and sausage and mince garlic. Remove stems from kale and slice into thin ribbons. Heat a large skillet on medium-high and swirl 1 tsp oil in pan when hot. Add leeks, sausage, and garlic and saute for 6-8 minutes, until leeks are soft and sausage is browned. Add kale, stock, and optional hot pepper, and turn heat down to low. Separately, heat a pot of salted water. Cook pasta according to package directions. Transfer pasta water to the kale in half-cup increments if the pan gets dry and adjust salt & pepper. When pasta is cooked, drain and add to kale, mixing everything together with olive oil. Sprinkle cheese on top. Feeds 2. Doubles easily.

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