Italian Sausage, Lacinato Kale & Cannellini Beans


Tonight’s meal was quick n’ easy and I was able to use up a couple ingredients in the fridge along with some more of my chicken stock!!!  Which by the way had thickened and become gelatinous in the fridge and sort of scared me at first…is this to be expected?  I have yet to feel any funny tummy pains, so I think it’s cool?

I had planned on using the kale in tonight’s dinner, but didn’t want to just do another greens with pasta thing (and my husband REALLY didn’t want me doing that again!) So I quickly scanned for some recipes that incorporated the kale and some leftover sausage I had in the freezer, when I stumbled upon the “Restaurant Widow’s” recipe for this dish.  It’s a really simple recipe but what caught my eye was the making of the “gastrique” which I had never heard of before and which immediately made the recipe sound so fancy.  ha! (Don’t be fooled, a gastrique is really easy and you’ve probably made it hundreds of times without realizing that’s what it’s called.)  And of course I used canned beans because I decided to make this dish 5 minutes before making it, so I didn’t really have time to soak and cook dried beans.  THAT is my problem!  Not planning ahead.  That should maybe be my New Years resolution, being better at planning meals ahead of time (or at least cooking up pots of beans on Sundays, along with chicken stock for the week ahead…maybe).

I wished I had had some crusty bread to go along with this dish, but otherwise a really great weeknight go-to meal.

Italian Sausage with Kale and White Beans – serves 4

from the Restaurant Widow


  • 3 sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed and sausage chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 medium onions, medium dice
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced very thinly
  • 1 large bunch kale, center rib removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups fresh white beans, OR 2 cups dried white beans, soaked overnight and drained, or 2 cans white beans, drained, 2 tbsp canning liquid reserved
  • 1 cup beef stock  (I used my chicken stock)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I only used about 2 tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • a few grinds (or a pinch) freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 T red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Tabasco sauce, optional


If using fresh or dried beans, simmer in a large pot of water 30 minutes, or until soft.  Set aside a little of the cooking liquid and drain the beans.  Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, combine the stock, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and chili flakes and bring to a boil (congratulations, you have just made a gastrique!)

In a large stock pot, brown the sausage.  Remove with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.  Add the onions and garlic to the pot and saute until translucent.  Add the beans, kale, sausage, and sauce back to the pot.  Cook until the kale has wilted and the sauce has thickened.  Add the reserved bean cooking or canning liquid to help thicken.  Serve in bowls with a little freshly grated Parmesan and sea salt on top.

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One Response to Italian Sausage, Lacinato Kale & Cannellini Beans

  1. Nicole says:

    Man that looks GOOOOOOD. Lacinato kale is my absolute favorite. As usual, gorgeous pics CK.

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