Kale and Chicken Italian Sausage Tortelloni + Verona Recap!

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Remember when Moses and I went to Verona at the end of March this year? Well, we’re long overdue for our recap. I guess you could say life’s been a little crazy as of late. Between my new cookbook deal, tons of Spring visitors, friend’s cookbooks being launched out into the world, and everything else in between, it feels like we haven’t had a chance to just chill. Which is why t’s taken me so long to share the details of our amazing Verona adventure with our friends at Giovanni Rana.

There aren’t enough words to tell you all how special this trip was. Sure, I could tell you how it felt like we were on a movie set, strolling along the narrow city streets and climbing to the top of Torre dei Lamberti, and the beauty of the Rana’s Villa San Vigilio on Lake Garda. Or how amazing it was to learn how to make my own ravioli after touring the Giovanni Rana Factory where we watched their machines roll the dough to an unparalleled thinness (for the record, mine did not come close to matching their dough—it was probably triple the thickness). And I could tell you about the grand pasta galas they put on, while they toured us around Italy, one filled pasta at a time. However, I feel like Moses had the right idea, that words aren’t enough, so he put together a rad little video that really captures the magic of the trip. 

What you may not catch in the video is how the Rana family opened up their hearts, lives, and homes to each and every one of us. Each member of the family went out of his/her way to make us feel welcome in Verona. Giovanni Rana is truly a family business. It was started by Giovanni Rana in 1962, and the company’s CEO is now his son, Gian Luca Rana. Gian Luca’s wife Antonella, as well as their two beautiful children, also play a role in the company. They all made it their mission to create a memorable experience for all of us who were lucky enough to travel to Verona.

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While it might be new to the market here in the US, Giovanni Rana is pretty much the pasta institution in Europe. It’s in refrigerators all over the world, and the word “Giovanni Rana” is synonymous with filled pasta out there. It’s also crazy high quality and totally rooted in artisanship. I mean, they created a position that is legit devoted to taste testing all the fresh ingredients: think everything from the most amazing aged Parmigiano Reggiano, the freshest eggs, to fragrant bushels of DOP basil, crates of gorgeous heads of radicchio, and mountains of perfectly cured meats. Jinx if you just asked, HOW DO I APPLY?!!

If it sounds like I’m fan-girling out, it’s because I am. Prior to our trip to Verona and discovering Giovanni Rana, I had no idea how light and fresh refrigerated pasta could be. I also had no idea how epic thinly rolled dough could be—trust me when I say that all filled pastas are not created equal. I’m definitely team thin dough, and top quality natural ingredients, which is definitely Giovanni Rana. And since it’s become a weeknight staple in our house, I wanted to share a quick and healthy recipe with you guys. Meet kale and chicken Italian sausage tortelloni. If you can boil water and have basic kitchen skills, grab yourself a bag of Giovanni Rana Cheese Lovers Tortelloni and get ready for an epic dinner! OhOh, and if you want to experience Verona for yourself, stop by the Dine with Rana site and enter to win a trip (yes, really)!!

KALE AND CHICKEN ITALIAN SAUSAGE TORTELLONI

SERVES 2-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/8 tsp. dried chili flakes
  • 6 – 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 chicken Italian sausages, sliced
  • 1 bunch lacinato (dino) kale, destemmed and torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 bag Giovanni Rana Cheese Lovers Tortelloni
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving

 

 

TOOLS

  • Large pot
  • Colander
  • Large skillet
  • Wooden spoon

FIX

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When the water is rapidly boiling, add the pasta and cook for 3 minutes; don’t overcook. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add olive oil to a large skillet, and heat until glistening over medium heat. When glistening, add the garlic, chili flakes, and 4 thyme sprigs, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until very fragrant.
  3. Add the sausage and cook till heated through and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Toss in the kale and cook until slightly wilted. Toss in the tortelloni and lemon zest and stir to combine, cooking for about a minute.
  4. Serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh thyme sprigs and enjoy!

A huge thank you to Giovanni Rana for a magical experience getting to know your company in Verona. This post was created in partnership with Giovanni Rana, but as always, all opinions and words are my own, like the fact that they are my favorite refrigerated pasta company!