Why go out when you can stay in.  This pasta is perfect to make when you’re wanting to make a great impression.  It’s quick, easy and it’s a home run if you’re doing a date night in. It’s creamy rich sauce, sausage and kale beautifully compliment each other for a flavour explosion that will having you wanting seconds.

Marnie and I were chatting about going out to dinner with our hubby’s when I thought why don’t we just stay in, grab an amazing bottle of vino and do dinner at home.  Her response was “what are you going to make?”  I immediately said “I just came across this delicious looking recipe and I just have to make it for you.”  This pasta was a hit with us so I hope you guys try it out and love it as much as we did.


Author: Pinch of Yum

Photo By: Pinch of Yum



  • 1 lb rigatoni + 2 cupreserved pasta water
  • 3 tablespoonolive oil
  • 2 cups chopped fennel or celery (I used fennel)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed or chopped*
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth (I used white wine)
  • 1 1/4 cupheavy cream
  • 2 cupchopped kale
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • red pepper flakes


  1. Pasta: Cook rigatoni according to package directions in well-salted water. Reserve 2 cups of the starchy water when you drain.
  2. Sausage: Heat olive oil in a large, deep pot over medium high heat. Add the fennel and onion. Saute until very soft – about 10 minutes. Add the sausage. Cook, breaking into small pieces, until browned all the way through.
  3. Sauce: Turn the heat down. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, and tomato paste. Sauté until fragrant – about 3 minutes. Add the wine; let it sizzle out. Add the cream; let it come to a low simmer. Stir in the kale. Season with salt.
  4. Fall In Love: Toss sauce with the cooked pasta. Add reserved pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. Stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Finish with red pepper flakes and more Parm. Serve with a glass of wine because THIS IS VERY ROMANTIC AND FANCY!

If you’ve tried this recipe let us know what you think by leaving a comment 🙂


Jaime Hayes

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