Ricotta-Pesto Pasta with Sausage and Kale


Ricotta-pesto pasta with sausage and kale.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
50 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
10 servings


  • cooking spray

  • 1 (16 ounce) package rigatoni pasta

  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 1 (16 ounce) container ricotta cheese

  • 1 (6 ounce) jar pesto, or more to taste

  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella, divided


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.

  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook rigatoni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, for about 9 minutes (pasta will not be fully cooked.) Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Set aside.

  3. While pasta is cooking, place sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and leave grease in the pan.

  4. Add oil to the skillet and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minutes. Add kale, nutmeg, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Deglaze the pan with white wine and cook until kale is soft, 5 to 10 more minutes.

  5. Return sausage back to the pan. Add ricotta, pesto, and 6 ounces mozzarella cheese. Add reserved pasta and cooking water. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Pour into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle remaining mozzarella over top. Cover with foil.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Cook's Note:

You can use sweet or hot Italian sausage.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

521 Calories
25g Fat
45g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 521
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g 33%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 736mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 57mg 285%
Calcium 513mg 39%
Iron 4mg 19%
Potassium 547mg 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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