Summertime Kale & Corn Pesto Pasta with Sausage

This green, red, and sausage-y pesto pasta is exactly what you want on a warm summer evening. The bright green pesto uses all fresh herbs and our summertime favorite superfood, kale, mixed with corn and lemon for a sweet and tangy dish. We use this pesto with chicken, on pizza, on toast, on our tooth brush (ok, maybe not). But you get it, it’s versatile. Spicy Italian sausage is the perfect compliment to beef it up and mellow it out.

Prep Time
Cook Time
  • 2 cups of Kale & Corn Pesto (* link to recipe in Instructions)
  • 2 cups pasta cooked, we prefer orecchiette for a chunky sausage pasta sauce like this one but choose your favorite smaller pasta shape
  • 1 small yellow onion, ½
  • 5 links of high grade spicy Italian sausage, decades
  • 2 husks of corn, cut off the cobb
  • ½ cup fresh peas, taken out of their shell
  • 1 ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil, for garnish
  1. Make our Kale & Corn Pesto. Reserve on the side or in the refrigerator. This can be made up to a week ahead.
  2. Prepare all other vegetables and ingredients: chop onions, de-case sausage, halve the tomatoes, and shell the peas.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Mix together the balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Spread across the sheet tray and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to cook down, become brown and bubbly. Allow to cool before taking off sheet tray or they may stick.
  4. Make the pasta according to the package’s instructions. Once it is almost done, using a measuring cup, reserve one cup of pasta water. Drain and reserve pasta.
  5. In a medium to large sized saucepan, heat ½ Tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the de-cased sausage and cook over medium/low heat until it’s broken into small pieces and browning the bottom of the pan. Using a slotted spoon, take out the sausage and reserve on the side on a paper towel.
  6. In the same pan, add in the onion, sautéing over medium/low heat until translucent. Add in the corn and cook for 5 more minutes. Add in the peas and tomatoes, heating them up. Add in the lemon juice and deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom and getting all of the brown bits up.
  7. Add back in the sausage and cook on low to combine and heat up.
  8. Take off the heat, add in all of the pesto except ⅓ cup, and mix together. Season with salt and pepper. If it seems a little dry and doesn’t look like there is enough sauce, add in a small amount of the pasta water, 1 Tablespoon at a time until it’s saucy enough for your tastes.
  9. On a platter or large bowl, add in the pasta, top what the sausage sauce and drizzle on the remaining pesto. Garnish with basil and serve hot or at room temperature.
  10. Pasta sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Reserve the additional ⅓ cup pesto to top when serving. Serve with parmesan cheese if desired.


View Comments