Broken Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Kale

An easy way to switch up your standard pasta dish is to play with your food – literally – by breaking your lasagna noodles into bite-sized pieces. Cheese, chicken sausage, and a white wine sauce tie it all together for a lovely, healthy dinner!

Whenever I reflect back on my high school experiences (aka when I run into people I tangentially knew back then and they freak out and hug me and I die inside), I shudder a bit.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I loved my awkward high school days. Blossoming from a strange girl who spoke too loudly through braces-bound teeth to a beautiful (?) social butterfly who got a stellar SAT score* and crushed her IB exams? What more could you ever want?

Baby J’s first homecoming!

*I should probably stop bringing this up now that I’ve graduated college??

…a healthy relationship with food, maybe? Yeah.

Courtesy of my dance team coach aka SATAN INCARNATE, whose favorite activity was telling me I was fat on a daily basis, I developed a nasty case of orthorexia. Not as severe as anorexia – I did eat, thank God – but I would only eat foods that I deemed ‘healthy.’


Cute mirror selfie, past self.

By the time senior year rolled around, I was mere skin and bones, had lost my period for two years, and… wait for it… hadn’t eaten pasta for THREE YEARS.

Things you shouldn’t do when you’re surviving on baby carrots? Hike 20 miles every weekend! Bad Jesse.

Ima let that sink in. The starchy goodness that is spaghetti and meatballs, or lasagna, or tortellini, or literally ANYTHING ELSE had been absent from my life for far too long, replaced by vegetables, cottage cheese, and plain grilled chicken breasts.

I’m dying on the inside just thinking about all the missed carb-portunities. Pour one out for me, guys.

LUCKILY, the introduction of alcohol to my life in college, PLUS a torn meniscus because I was extremely undernourished, turned my life around. I discovered powerlifting and swapped out hours of cardio for yoga, and have never been stronger or happier than I am now!

This is the face of a girl who can chug a bottle of wine, bench 100, AND squat 135.

And thank heavens I’m eating pasta again, because if I wasn’t, I would never have experienced the goodness that is this broken pasta with chicken sausage and kale in a white wine sauce! Ohh yeah, let that sink in.


To make this dish, I started by breaking 8 lasagna noodles into pieces of various sizes. I brought a pot of water to a rolling boil, and added the dry noodles. I let them cook for about 8 minutes, until soft.


While the water was coming to a boil, I steamed 5 leaves of kale in a pan with a bit of water over medium heat, until it had wilted.


I then drained the kale and added 6 oz chopped artichokes and 5 cloves minced garlic. Luckily I wasn’t kissing anyone after this meal, although Amanda may or may not have tried. Why you so obsessed with me, A? 😉

Please ignore the strawberry stain in the background… it added flavor?

I let these saute for a few more minutes, and then removed the veggies from the heat. I grabbed a slightly smaller pan and added 3 chopped chicken sausage links, which I cooked over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side, until browned.

This was my chicken sausage of choice, but use whatever you want! My favorites are from Trader Joe’s, but I needed to go to my favorite Fuckboy-infested Giant to get my daily fill of guys named Chad. I hope you understand.

Once the sausage had browned, I added it to the cooked artichoke-kale mixture, and added 3 Tablespoons butter to the pan. I let it cook over medium-high until foamy, then whisked in 1/2 cup sauvignon blanc (HOLLA) and the juice of half a lemon. You could also add seasonings, but my chicken sausage and artichokes were pre-seasoned, so I opted not to. I whisked this mixture for about three minutes, then added it to the veggie-sausage mixture. I drained the cooked pasta and also added that to the pan, then tossed everything to coat.

To finish, I served it up with another squirt of lemon juice and some parmesan cheese on top. Ta da! It was wonderful! And, I bet you can guess what happened to the rest of that bottle of wine…



I love you, wine. Thank you for saving me from my sad, pasta-less life!


*The tone of this post is very light because I don’t think any good comes from dwelling negatively on the past; that said, eating disorders are very serious and affect a large portion of the population. If you are going through this, please reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or professional. Stay strong!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Emily Swanson says:

    It just really seems like the dance culture isn’t always the healthiest. Is there a way to make it healthier without the pressure to look a certain way? ❤ SO thankful you are healthy and thriving now.


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