Rigatoni with Sausage and Kale

12 ounces Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 bunch (1 1/2 pounds) kale, thick stems removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces rigatoni pasta
1 large tomato, diced
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 5-quart pot, cook sausage over medium heat, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in onions; cover, and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add kale and 1/2 cup water to the same pot; season with salt and pepper. Cover; cook over medium-low heat, tossing occasionally, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain; coarsely chop. Transfer to bowl with onions.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water for about 8 minutes, or until it is al dente. Drain; rinse under cold water.

Add noodles, tomatoes, and ricotta to the bowl; season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss well. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; smooth top with a spatula. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

The original idea for this recipe came from a lasagna recipe… but we don’t regularly stock lasagna noodles and didn’t feel like buying them… so, waLa, Rigatoni!

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