Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage, Kale & Creamy Great Northern Bean Sauce

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Serves: 4–6


  • 1-pound tubular pasta (such as rigatoni or ziti)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1-pound spicy mild Italian sausage

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (plus more for garnish)

  • 2 15.5-ounce pouches Green Valley Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1/2 cup chopped leeks

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock

  • 2 cups packed chopped fresh kale


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Just before draining, reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.

  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the sausage and season it with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon (to reserve any fat in the pan), remove the sausage and set it aside.

  3. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the beans, leeks, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and sauté until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine and chicken stock, scraping to remove any brown bits from the bottom.

  4. Transfer half of the bean-stock mixture to a blender (or use a handheld immersion blender) and puree until smooth. Return the mixture to the pan and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

  5. Return the sausage to the pan along with the cooked pasta, kale, and 1/4 cup of the parmesan. Toss, adding a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water at a time, until the kale is wilted and the sauce clings to the pasta. Season to taste for additional salt and pepper.

  6. Divide the pasta among plates and evenly garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan, 2 tablespoons oil, and additional red pepper flakes if desired.

Final Step

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