Turkey Kale Caesar Salad

By Lea Wroblewski from Lincoln, NE won second place at the 2005 Nebraska State Fair Norbest Turkey Cooking Contes


1 lb rigatoni (or other short and thick macaroni)

1 Bunch kale leaves, chopped with stems removed


2 tbsp olive oil, DIVIDED

1 Medium red bell pepper, seeds & ribs removed, cut into bite-size pieces

2 to 3 Cloves fresh garlic, minced

As needed freshly ground black pepper

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1 Medium lemon, juiced

As needed Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to packaged directions. Add kale to boiling pasta and water during the last five minutes of cooking time.

Squeeze sausage from casings and brown sausage over medium heat. Break into bite size pieces with spatula while browning. Cook until all pink color vanishes. Remove sausage from pan and cover to keep warm.

Sauté red bell pepper in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until tender. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 30-45 seconds longer.

Drain pasta and kale.

In a large bowl, combine sausage, bell pepper mixture, pasta and kale.

Squeeze the juice of one lemon and remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the salad mixture. Grind fresh pepper over the top and sprinkle on 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Gently stir to combine.

Serve in bowls with a grating of Parmesan cheese on top.