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Farro Spaghetti with Kale Pesto and Roasted Sausages with Grapes
For the Roasted Sausages and Grapes:
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and cut into thin wedges
3 large shallots, cut into thin wedges
2 bulbs garlic, ends trimmed
1 ½-2 pounds black or red seedless grapes, mostly removed from stems with a couple small bunches
Salt and pepper
2-3 pounds sweet sausages with fennel in rounds
7-8 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked from the stems
¼ cup thick aged balsamic vinegar
About 5 tablespoons EVOO
For the Farro Spaghetti with Kale Pesto:
1 bunch flat kale, also known as Tuscan kale, lacinato or cavolo nero, stemmed
½ cup peeled almonds or walnuts, toasted
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or ground red pepper
1 cup pecorino cheese
About 1/3 cup EVOO
1 pound farro spaghetti or long whole wheat pasta
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 425°F, with rack at center.
For the roasted sausages and grapes, line a large baking sheet with foil and parchment paper. Add fennel, shallots, garlic and grapes and season with salt and pepper. Prick skins of sausages and arrange on bed of grapes with rosemary, dress all the ingredients with vinegar and EVOO and roast about 50 minutes to 1 hour until sausages are browned and fennel is tender.
For the farro spaghetti with kale pesto, bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt and add kale for 30 seconds. Remove to a towel-lined baking sheet using a spider or tongs, shock in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and wring or pat dry, then coarsely chop.
Place kale in a food processor and pulse. Add nuts, garlic, lemon, red pepper, pecorino, salt and pepper, then continue to pulse the pesto into a thick paste and stream in EVOO.
Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions and reserve ½ cup water. Drain and return to the hot pot with butter and the water, add pesto and toss pasta for 1 minute. Transfer to warm serving bowl.