Italian Sausage and Kale Rigatoni

Savory, garlicky Italian Sausage and Kale Rigatoni that will take you to Italy without leaving your kitchen. Enjoy topped with smooth, melted mozzarella and fresh basil.

Italian Sausage and Kale Rigatoni
Happy Wednesday, friends!

I was thinking about this the other day while running (where I get most of my thinking done)… while we’ve (you and I) been able to connect on a deeper level through posts like this, this, this, and this, I’ve never really done a condensed “fun facts” post. Something lighthearted, not too deep, but enough to give you a little glimpse into who I am beyond the recipes.

Remember in school, on the first day, when you’d have to stand up and say your name, where you’re from, and a fun fact. You know, those “ice breakers” our teachers always made us do? I was always so bad at those. Beyond just being utterly terrified of public speaking (in this case, simply speaking in front of a few other people), I just could never really think of a fun fact about myself like the other students. You’d here things like “I was born in Germany” or “I met the President”… and I’m over here like “uhhhh pass”.

So, here we go… I’m going to try and think of 20 random fun facts about myself. And can I ask you for a favor in return? Can you comment with a few fun facts about YOU? I’d love to know more about who’s reading this little blog here!

1. I’ve lived in Tennessee for part of my life!

2. I was a cheerleader for eight years (competitive and high school) and pole vaulted for four years.

3. I used to loathe running (my track coach would make the PVers run) in high school. You’d never guess I do it for a stress reliever now.

4. I’ve been to Hawaii three times.

Sausage Kale Rigatoni

5. My first language was Spanish. My mom is from Cuba, as is her whole family, and I was born in Miami where Spanish is ubiquitous. I lost my fluency upon moving to Memphis three years later, but my mom/family still speak to me in Spanish (and I respond in English most of the time).

6. The first time I ever watched Lone Survivor, the lone survivor himself (Marcus Luttrell) was sitting right in front of me. He was training at the facility I interned at in Pensacola, and had rented out a local movie theater for the staff to watch it with him.

7. I once saw the entire SNL cast at the Beverley Hilton in Beverley Hills because the hotel was hosting a cast meeting in one of their conference rooms, and my family and I happened to be staying there while on vacation. To this day it kills me that I was too afraid to bother them for a photo.

8. I’ve run one half marathon – the Disney Princess Half at Disney World.

Sausage Kale Rigatoni

9. My favorite TV shows include Silicon Valley, Girls, and almost everything on Bravo.

10. My nickname in elementary school was “Mingo” because everybody made fun of me for having “flamingo legs” so I said eff you and called myself Mingo.

11. My favorite band in middle school was Blink-182, so much so that my email address was “blink182iscool”.

12. I played the violin when I was younger.

Sausage Kale Rigatoni

13. I watch The Devil Wears Prada every time it’s on TV.

14. My least favorite food is olives. *gag*

15. I hate rollercoasters. You could not pay me a million dollars to ride one. I am not kidding.

16. I want to publish a book one day.

Sausage Kale Rigatoni

17. The best hamburger I’ve ever had was a teriyaki burger at a gas station in Hawaii.

18. I drink coffee every single day.

19. I have my B.S. in Sport Management with a minor in Business Administration. My favorite sports team(s) is the Florida Gators.

And last but not least…

20. If there was one dish that I had to eat for the rest of my life, it would be pasta.

*gasps for air because that was really hard*

I’m not really sure if there is anyone in the world that doesn’t like pasta. I’m convinced that if you don’t, that you actually do, and you’re just lying. So don’t even try to tell me that you don’t like pasta, ‘CAUSE YOU LYIN’.

I used to be afraid to indulge in pasta, but now I eat it about once a week. Being that my father’s family is Sicilian, it’s pretty much in my blood to eat pasta on the reg, so I kind of have to, right?

Actually, funny enough, we didn’t eat that much pasta when we visited Sicily a couple years ago. The town we visited was Cefalu, where my family lives. It’s a beach town, so we got our fill of seafood. Of course we enjoyed pasta here and there, but it wasn’t as prominent there as it was in Rome.

This Italian Sausage and Kale Rigatoni is a great weeknight dinner option as it’s basically cooked in one skillet (minus boiling the pasta).

5.0 from 2 reviews
Italian Sausage and Kale Rigatoni
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Serves 4
  • 1 box rigatoni pasta
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups (heaping handfuls) of chopped kale
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 5 links of Italian sausage, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • Top with:
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh, julienned basil
  1. Heat a large pot of water over high heat. Add pasta when boiling and cook according to package directions. Set aside in a colinder when al dente.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil.
  3. Add sausage and cook until browned. Set aside in a separate bowl.
  4. Add remaining two tbsp of evoo to the skillet, again over medium heat.
  5. Add kale, white wine, and garlic.
  6. Cook until kale is wilted and wine is reduced.
  7. Add sausage and combine with kale. Use tongs to mix well.
  8. Add rigatoni to kale and sausage mixture.
  9. Pour sauce over mixture and stir together.
  10. Enjoy topped with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
Italian Sausage and Kale Rigatoni
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Throw some fun facts at me about you!!

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Italian Sausage and Kale Rigatoni

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  1. says

    I looooved this! Fun facts in general just amuse me, but I must agree that I always watch The Devil Wears Prada when it’s on, but I loooove rollercoasters. Fun fact: I can make my stomach growl, technically speaking I have 6 siblings (some blood, some step, some half) and I avoided photography like the plague all throughout college. Ha, so dumb.

  2. Amanda Howard says

    First blog post that I’ve read and already hooked! You did a great job off 20 fun facts. A few of mine are: 1. I was born in Brisbabe Australia and live in Melbourne Australia now. 2. I attended the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney Australia. 3. I have been to America 3 times and love it, can’t wait to come back. 4. I have 1 daughter age 2.5 years 5. I hate Brussel sprouts and totally agree with you on roller coasters – never ever!
    Can’t wait to try this pasta dish out!

    • says

      Yay someone to finally agree with me on the rollercoasters!! I’m so happy to have found a boyfriend that hates them, too LOL no issues when we go to amusement parks. How interesting you went to the Olympics!! I’d love to go one day. Thanks for stopping by :)
      The Blissful Balance recently posted…Almond Butter Puppy ChowMy Profile

      • Amanda Howard says

        Totally agree on the roller coasters! I’ll happily stay on the ground. I’m going to give your pasta a go tonight!

  3. says

    I loved reading these Christina! When did you do the Disney Princess Half? I did it in 2014… And it would be super cray cray if you were there that year too and we potentially crossed paths. Ok fine we probably wouldn’t have because there were approximately 12 million people there buuuuuuut I like to pretend these things happened. And this pasta. Girl. Pasta is hands down my favorite food. I don’t eat it nearly as much as I should/would like to. Gotta get on that!
    Les @ The Balanced Berry recently posted…{Video} How to use a BOSUMy Profile

  4. says

    Oh my goodness I hate those flipping ice breakers. I saw this funny meme on facebook (this is gonna be really lame because I’m explaining it but I’m gonna do it anyway) describing the 4 dimensions of hell and there were the usual things like being frozen, being in flames etc. then the last one was endless ice breaker games which I thought was hilarious.
    Fun facts about me…my favourite scarf is this red, loopy one that is so cozy and perfect. My parents are both from South Africa but I was born and raised in New Zealand. Daffodils are my favourite flowers.
    Megan recently posted…10 things you don’t need in your life anymoreMy Profile

  5. says

    This looks so good that it might even get me to eat kale! I know, I know… everyone these days loves kale. But one fun fact about me is that I seriously do NOT like it! And your piece about your Blink 182 email is so funny. My first email address was “cblotr” because my initials are CB and I used to be obsessed with the Lord of the Rings. (Okay, kind of still am but not enough to make it my email, haha!)
    Claire @ My Pink & Green Life recently posted…Life Lately: July 2016My Profile

    • says

      I used to HATE kale. Just like you. And then I don’t know what happened but I just started liking it, I think because I would just saute it with garlic and olive oil (and salt) and it was so yummy to me. My palette changes all the time! LOL I’m not sure if I love anything enough anymore to make it my email lmao #TBT
      The Blissful Balance recently posted…Almond Butter Puppy ChowMy Profile

  6. says

    Absolutely LOVE all of these fun facts!! :) And this pasta though….OMG.
    My fun facts: 1) I drink coffee every single day too. 2) My favorite TV shows are “I Love Lucy”, “The Golden Girls”, and “The Office.” 3) My least favorite foods are eggplants and kalamata olives. 4) My boyfriend and I are coming up on 6 years in November! 5) I absolutely LOVE roller coasters, opposite from you. 😉 6) My elbows are uber hyperextended. 7) I have a tattoo on my ribs and one on my wrist…and I want so many more! 8) I’m Italian on both sides of my family so pasta is literally my life! 😉
    Marina @ A Dancer’s Live-It recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #6: Size Means NothingMy Profile

    • says

      Love these facts!!! Omg I wish I liked rollercoasters. I have a photo of all of my friends surrounding me at a Universal Studios field trip in middle school, they were trying to convince me to go on it and I was just sitting there like NOPE. And our chaperone took a pic of it lol i will literally never
      The Blissful Balance recently posted…Almond Butter Puppy ChowMy Profile

  7. says

    I love this Christina! I do a lot of my blog thinking/writing in my head while running too. You’ve done one of my goal half marathons. I would love to do a Disney race some time! And this pasta looks like a taste of Italy, just like you said! :)

    Fun Facts about me: 1) I’m a total homebody, but I’ve traveled to Africa, Japan, Europe, and… that’s all. :) 2) I love running, but I really don’t care for biking or swimming (in a competitive way. 3) I used to hate rollercoasters, but I’m okay with them now. I wouldn’t ride them for fun though. 4) I over think my blog posts, and I write way too many words then I do A lot of editing. 5) Hmm…. I’m out of facts.
    Emily recently posted…Top 5 Friday: Why I Stopped Loving ‘Busy’My Profile

  8. says

    Not a fan of rollercoasters here, but you might be able to tempt me with this rigatoni! Fun fact about me is that I’m finally attempting to do some world travelling and I’m scared to death! I’m sure it will be amazing once I set foot down on a beach in spain!

    Thanks for the inspiration Christina!


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