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Nutty Kale Penne

Nutty Kale Penne

Serves 6

Salt

1½ pounds kale, leaves torn from stem and center ribs (discard stems and ribs)

½ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and black pepper

1 pound whole-wheat penne

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut in pieces

Cook the kale in a 6- to 8-quart pot of well-salted boiling water, uncovered until just tender, 4 to 8 minutes.

Transfer the kale with tongs to a colander; reserve water. When the kale is cool enough to handle lightly, squeeze it to remove excess liquid, then chop it into bite-size pieces. Return the water to a boil for the pasta.

Cook the nuts in oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to towels to drain. Cook garlic, onion, pepper flakes and ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in the remaining oil, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cook the penne in boiling water until al dente. Reserve about 2 cups of pasta water, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the empty pot; stir in the cheese, butter, kale, onion mixture, 1 cup reserved pasta water and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat, stirring, 1 minute, moistening with additional pasta water if desired. Serve sprinkled with almonds and additional cheese.

From Gourmet’s “Easy Dinners”

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Kale is the Jeff Bridges of vegetables — been around forever, utility player, not the flashy type. Until lately. Since being crowned prom king of locavore fads, kale has been putting on airs. All of a sudden, it’s cozying up to caramelized onions and being photographed slathered in chanterelles. Easy to grow and touted as the ne plus ultra of … 0

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