Pasta with Braised Kale

linguine with braised kale

I spend most of my commute home thinking about food. It's no joke.  I try to remember everything I have in our pantry & fridge and make up recipes in my head while I'm cruising down the freeway.  During tonight's commute, I thought I'd make more Kale Chips since I had  2 bunches of kale in the fridge but quickly abandoned that idea because Casey wouldn't be happy eating kale chips for dinner.  Me? I could do it. No problem.  Then I thought about making the Spaghetti with Braised Kale recipe I saw in Bon Appetit recently.  The sheer simplicity of the recipe made that idea the winner.  It is a Monday night after all.  The last thing I wanna do is spend hours in the kitchen.  A half hour after I got home, a very satisfying dinner was served.

I could have eaten the entire pot of braised kale on its own without the pasta.  The marriage of the lemon, tender kale and garlic was superb! Casey really enjoyed this dish too, but wished there was less kale and more pasta.  He LOVES pasta. I LOVE kale. So I was delighted when there was extra kale waiting for me in the pot after I plated our dinner.  Next time I make this recipe I'll be sure to take most of his kale and transfer it directly to my mouth.  I might also add some red pepper flakes to spice it up or top our pasta mounds with some aged balsamic vinegar for a sweet tang.  It would be lovely with a fried egg on top too!

Start with your kale prep. Take the leaves off the stalks and chop them up.

kale prep

Chop up the onion and thinly slice the garlic.

i'm not crying

Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent and then add the garlic. Cook for a bit.

garlic meets onions

Now add your kale to the pan.

adding kale to the pot

Add the lemon zest to the kale. Put the lid on and let it braise.  Now start cooking your pasta.

lemon rinding

Look! Your kale is done. Take a taste. It's good huh?

just get a fork

Stop eating it! Your not going to have anything left!!  Quick! Add it to the pasta!

kale meets pasta

Squeeze the lemon into the pot and add the reserved pasta water to lubricate the noodles.

lemon squeeze

Now add a HEALTHY dose of Parmesan & get ready to plate!

stirring in the parmesan

Doesn't it look yummy?

mmmmm

Pasta with Braised Kale

(recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

  • 1 pound lacinato kale (about 2 bunches), large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)--I used a red onion
  • 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound linguine (the original recipe calls for spaghetti)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice & the zest a whole lemon
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse kale. Drain; transfer to bowl with some water still clinging.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add sliced garlic and sprinkle with salt; cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add kale and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and cover pot. Reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in medium pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add cooked spaghetti to kale mixture in pot. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Sprinkle spaghetti with grated Parmesan cheese and serve!

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