Thursday, March 14, 2013

KALE ROTINI WITH BRATS (or hot-dogs-mac-and-cheese for adults)


Now at this point, dear reader, you're probably looking at the photo and the title together. And you're probably thinking I just made some pasta with kale, and then cut up some brats and put them in it.


You're so right. That's exactly what I did.

We don't usually buy brats/sausages/hot dogs, but I came across a sale on some delicious-looking gourmet brats the other day, and I got two different kinds. After enjoying them once for dinner, I started thinking like a 5-year-old who'd just enjoyed his first hot dog: Can we cut this up and put it in other food? Like mac and cheese?! (Or, you know, one of its grown-up versions...)

So here you go. A mouthwatering adult version of hot dogs and mac & cheese.


Kale Rotini with Brats

(or hot-dogs-mac-and-cheese for adults)

(pasta recipe adapted from this one at Kalyn's Kitchen)

Makes about 6 servings.

1 10-oz. bag cut and cleaned kale, stems removed
1 (or 2) cheddar brats, cut into thin bite-sized pieces*
1 (or 2) hot brats (e.g. with chile peppers, etc.), cut into thin bite-sized pieces*
6 large cloves garlic, minced
3 T olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
13 oz. garden rotini
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
onion salt
dried red pepper flakes

In a large skillet or stock pot, heat about 3 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until garlic just begins to brown. Add kale and brats. Cook, stirring often, until kale is wilted. Add chicken broth and reduce heat. Let continue to simmer while cooking pasta.

In a separate pan, cook pasta to al dente. Drain, reserving about 1 cup cooking water. 

Stir pasta into the kale. If more moisture is desired, stir in as much reserved pasta cooking water as needed. Then stir in parmesan cheese. Season with onion salt and red pepper flakes. Continue to heat and stir until parmesan becomes "melty." Serve hot.

*I really liked this combination of brats flavors, but you can use any kind you like. Adjust number of brats for your desired meatiness :)