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Pasta with Linguica, Kale and Chunky Tomato Sauce, Roasted Pasilla Pepper - Parmesan Cream

I realize that my title is quite an elaborate mouthful -- as was every bite of the dish! This was absolutely delicious (tangy, spicy...) and nowhere near as complicated as the title might indicate.

1 portion spaghetti (pasta portion size being very subjective)

1/2 cup chunky tomato sauce, preferably homemade

1/2 head of curly kale, washed and very finely chopped

1/4 cup ground Linguica or other sausage if linguica not available

1 clove of garlic, peeled finely chopped

splash of red wine

1 tsp olive oil

1 Pasilla pepper, topped and seeds and internal membranes removed

1 Tbsp grated Parmesan (+ more for garnish)

1 Tbsp crumbled feta or goat cheese

2 Tbsps pasta cooking water

Preheat the oven to 450.

Place the Pasilla pepper in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, turning at the half way mark. Remove from the oven and set aside. I usually place it on a chopping board and cover it with an inverted bowl to allow it to steam while I get on with the rest of the dish.

While the pepper is roasting, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package minus one minute.

While the pasta water is heating and the pepper is roasting, prep the sauce.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. As soon as it shimmers, add the Linguica (or other sausage meat) and the chopped garlic to the pan. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage meat is cooked through and starting to get a bit crispy around the edges.

Deglaze with a splash of red wine, stirring up from the bottom to ensure any brown, stuck bits become part of the sauce.

Add the chopped kale and stir to combine well before topping with the tomato sauce. Lower the heat and cover. Let cook until the pasta is cooked, stirring from time to time.

When the spaghetti has two more minutes cooking time, place the peeled pepper, the cheeses and the pasta water in a blender and blend until smooth.

When the pasta is cooked, add a quarter cup of the cooking water to the Linguica, kale and tomato sauce before draining the pasta.

Stir the sauce well to incorporate the pasta water and then add the pasta to the pan. Using tongs and lifting and mixing, ensure that each strand of pasta is coated with sauce.

Spoon into a serving bowl and top with more grated Parmesan. Pour some of the Pasilla cream around the sides of the dish and refrigerate the rest to pour over room temperature roasted vegetables.


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