Pasta with Charred Tomatoes, Hot Sausage, Kale and Ricotta


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 pints cherry tomatoes or equivalent full-size tomatoes

1 pound Bernie’s Fennel and Hot or Cantalupo sausage

2 shallots, chopped

4 large cloves garlic, chopped

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup dry sherry or sweet vermouth

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

1 pound rigatoni (or other short pasta)

2 cups fresh ricotta cheese, sheep or cow’s milk

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

Shaved Pecorino (or Parmesan) cheese


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the rigatoni.

2. Preheat broiler and place a rack in the upper third of oven. Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet and toss with a little olive oil. Place under the broiler and char until they burst.

3. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add sausage, brown and crumble. Add shallots and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Stir shallots and garlic into sausage for 2-3 minutes then deglaze with sherry or sweet vermouth. Add kale to pan and wilt into sausage. Add charred tomatoes to sauce.

4. Cook pasta in salted water to a minute shy of cooking time, reserving a mug of starchy cooking water. Drain rigatoni and toss with sauce and starchy water for a full minute.

5. Place pasta in shallow bowls topped with a fat mound of ricotta, some thyme, a drizzle of Extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Shred or shave pecorino over the dish and serve.