Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pasta with kale in four easy steps

This is barely a recipe, just a brief explanation of the process I follow for making an easy, healthful dinner that leaves enough left over for lunch the next day. It's a variation on another dish that I also make a lot, but which requires dirtying two pans because the greens are cooked and seasoned separately.

1. Put a pot of water on to boil.
2. While the water is heating, rinse and chop a big bunch of kale. I was dealing with about a pound of actual leaves, judging by what I paid and considering that I discarded the stems. At some point, the water will boil, at which point I salt it and add about half a box of pasta, in this case, oricchiette. The amount of kale will seem mildly ridiculous.

Bowl of kale, french press for scale:
3. When the pasta is about half done, put the kale directly in the cooking water. I usually add about two handfuls at a time, submerging it and adding more when it wilts enough to make space.

4. Drain the lot of it when the pasta is done and put it back in the pot (saves washing another bowl). Then I drizzle it with a goodly amount of soy sauce, a less goodly amount of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice and a tiny bit of sesame oil and red pepper flakes. There's a lot of surface to cover, so don't worry if it seems like you're adding way too much of any of it. You could always make a vinaigrette first with olive oil, which would also mellow the flavor a lot (and what I would do if I were serving this to anyone other than my own gaping maw), but I usually don't bother.
Other optional niceties, especially if you want some protein in the mix: parmesan or feta sprinkled on, a runny-yolked egg thrown on top, a can of beans drained (and rinsed! and for the love of Thor, rinsed!) and mixed into the whole batch.

[originally posted on my old food blog 10.20.2009]

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