When I think of kale, the first thing that comes to mind is the buffet line. It was what we put out around all the foods you would eat, not something you would eat. In fact I didn’t know people actually ate kale until recently. Bad? Maybe, but I’m gonna go with no. I was told that it was best steamed or cooked in some way, which was a bit of a turn off. I am not a big fan of cooked leafy greens. Lately I have seen a bunch of recipes with kale and all this talk about it’s super food status, so I decided to get serious about trying it out.
I was going to go with it as a side dish, but given my dislike of mushy leaves, I decided it would best to try it as part of a composition. The description for Martha Stewart’s Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale and Fontina in my Fresh Flavor Fast, I was sold. It is super easy to make and tasty. The whole wheat pasta, kale, and bacon flavors were perfectly balanced. The cheese tied it all together and melted perfectly in the warm pasta. I cut the recipe in half, that big bunch of kale was only a little over a 1/2 pound. Plus I didn’t need six servings anyway. Regarding my dislike of cooked greens, the kale didn’t bother me much, it wasn’t super mushy. Towards the end, the texture did start to get to me and I picked the last pieces out. As a leftover it was great. It has inspired me to continue cooking with kale. I think the next recipe will be this baked kale chip recipe I saw somewhere… I just need to figure out where that was.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale and Fontina
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound bunch kale, thick stems trimmed, leaves coursely chopped
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1/4 cup coarsely grated fontina cheese
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. When done draining, break in to 1/2″ pieces. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons rendered fat.
- Cook garlic in same skillet over medium heat until golden, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Add half the kale; cook, tossing until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Add remaining kale, and season with salt and pepper; cook, tossing, until all kale has wilted, about 2 minutes. Add broth; cover. Simmer until kale is tender, 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
- Return pasta to pot. Add kale and fontina; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add reserved cooking water as desired, (I didn’t need any of this). Divide pasta among plates; top with reserved bacon.