Spicy kale pasta

 
Spicy kale pasta
 

Where were you when you first heard about kale? It's ok, I don't remember either. But it's here, potentially to stay, so I don't fight it as much as others do.

Why? It's great for you! It's green! It's effortlessly pretty too.

It's still quite cold in the northeast, so I thought it would be appropriate to share this hearty pasta dish with you.

It's kale, two ways. Pesto AND shredded. Lacinato kale is my favorite variety of kale because it's soft and has the most beautiful deep green color. Spicy sausage gives the whole dish a kick, and flavors the entire dish with, well, pork. Fried thyme is a secret weapon at the end. The recipe is below for those of you that are ready to eat!

Spicy kale pasta

Spicy kale pasta

  • 1 lb. dried rigatoni pasta
  • 1 lb. spicy pork sausage, removed from casing
  • 1/4 cup pasta water
  • 1 cup lacinato kale, ribs removed and shredded 
  • 1 recipe of kale pesto (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup finely-grated pecorino romano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 thyme sprigs

Start by boiling your pasta according to the package's instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining for later and set the pasta aside.

While the pasta cooks, brown the sausage in a large pan. Once brown, add the pasta water and then the shredded kale stirring until the kale softens. 

Add the pasta, pesto and the pecorino into the pan. Stir to combine everything.

To finish the dish, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the thyme sprigs and fry them for 2-3 minutes until crispy. Remove the leaves from the stems and stir the fried thyme into the dish. Enjoy.

Kale pesto

  • 1 large bunch of lacinato kale (ribs removed, around 1.5 packed cups)
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 cup finely-grated pecorino romano 
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

In a food processor, blend together the kale, lemon juice, garlic and pecorino. You'll want the kale to be finely chopped. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto takes shape. Tada, that's it!