IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Orecchiette with Sausage, Balsamic Grapes, Kale and Goat Cheese

Cook Time:
40 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

This recipe comes together super easily and contains an unexpected combination of ingredients you would find in your home kitchen, like grapes, and transforms them into an elevated pasta dish you can make during the week or when you’re hosting friends. Start by roasting grapes in the oven with balsamic vinegar and thyme. Meanwhile, sauté kale with garlic and cook the pasta. Add the pasta to the kale alongside some butter and toss to coat. Meanwhile, mix a touch of pasta water with the goat cheese and set aside. To plate, top with balsamic-roasted grapes, fresh thyme leaves, and a dollop of creamy goat cheese.

Get Ingredients: If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it. Technique Tip: To quickly grate a lot of fresh Parmesan cheese, cut the Parmesan into chunks and grind in a food processor. Swap Option: Spinach instead of kale or turkey sausage instead of pork sausage.


  • 3 cups stemmed, seedless grapes
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 thyme sprigs, divided
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (preferably hot), casings removed
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
Fulfilled by



Preheat the oven to 450 F and bring a large pot of water to a boil.


Toss the grapes and 3 tablespoon of olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Top with sprigs of thyme. Roast until the grapes blister, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the thyme sprigs. Then, toss with balsamic vinegar and set aside.


Salt the water with 1/4 cup salt. Blanch kale for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool, squeezing out any excess water. Add the pasta and cook 1 minute shy of the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain.


While the pasta is cooking, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon or potato masher until golden brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.


Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallots. Cook the shallots for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the garlic and chopped kale. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is fragrant, the garlic has softened and the kale is even more tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add a splash of pasta water to lift up any flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan.


Add pasta into the Dutch oven and, alternating back and forth, add 1/4 cup of pasta water followed by a handful of Parmesan cheese. Toss together to coat until the sauce coats the pasta noodles. Finally, add half the grapes and their roasting juices to the pan, reserving the rest for garnish. Add the sausage to the pan and toss to coat again.


In a mixing bowl, combine goat cheese and 1/3 cup of warm water and mix until smooth.


To finish, divide the pasta among bowls, top with reserved grapes, a dollop of goat cheese, thyme leaves and freshly cracked black pepper.