Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Dress the kale lightly with a couple of tablespoons EVOO; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the kale on two baking sheets and bake for about 15 minutes, rotating and switching the pans midway through.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Once the pasta water is boiling, if using the sausage, in a large skillet, drizzle 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, crumbling the meat, and cook until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate. If you’re skipping the sausage, heat the skillet to medium. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO to the skillet , a couple of turns of the pan, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and chili pepper to the skillet and stir for a couple of minutes. Stir in the thyme and rosemary.
Whisk the reserved pasta cooking water into the garlic-chili oil, then pour it over the pasta. Add half of the crispy kale, the sausage (if using), ricotta and some nutmeg; toss vigorously to coat the pasta. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste. Serve in shallow bowls and top with the Pecorino Romano cheese and piles of the remaining crispy kale.