Saturday, July 10, 2010

Orecchiette with Sausage, Kale and Feta

This dish is a classic combination, pasta with a minimal sauce of sausage and bitter greens. The most common combination is orecchiette with sausage and rapini but any bitter green will do. In this version, the the bitterness of the kale is softened by the fat of the pork and Feta. Orecchiette means "little ears" in Italian, they are definitely worth finding, but if you cannot, farfalle or even small shells will deliver a similar result.

I was vising the River's Edge Goat Dairy this past weekend, and they had ground pork from pigs that they had feed on the leftover whey from their cheese making. I was excited to try it so I used it in this recipe. It was fantastic, very mild with a definite sweetness to the meat.

Orecchiette with Sausage, Kale and Feta
1 lb dried orecchiette
2 T extra virgin olive oil
large pinch of chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1.5 lbs ground pork
4 cups kale, chopped
1 cup white wine
salt and pepper
250 g Mediterranean style goat feta cheese

Bring to a boil well salted water, boil pasta according to directions.
Meanwhile, heat 2 T olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and chili flakes and continue to cook until the garlic is fragrant.
Place pork into pan in small, even pieces, season well. Let brown well on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add kale to pan, season well and stir-fry until wilted.
Add white wine and reduce by half.
Add pork back into pan and check and adjust seasonings.
Drain pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and set aside.
Add pasta to sausage/kale mixture. If sauce is dry, add pasta water and cook until you reach the desired consistency.
Serve sprinkled with feta and more chili flakes.

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