Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spaghetti with Braised Kale

I was dismayed to find kale in our most recent CSA box- I've given kale a few tries, a few different ways, and all have been inedible (at least to our palates.)  This recipe has changed that!  It's not stellar in a "oh my goodness, can we make this again to tomorrow?" kind of way, but it's warm, comforting, and very good.  And for me, I've made my peace with kale.

A few recipe notes- I used a 1/2 pound of small shell pasta in place of the spaghetti, and threw in the greens attached to the turnips I also found in my CSA box.  Beet greens would probably be good too- any hearty greens.  The recipe calls to braise the greens for 20 minutes or more- it took away nearly all of the bitter taste I've always loathed in turnip greens and kale.  I used a red onion- I love how well they caramelize-- and threw in a handful of refrigerated bacon bits with the cheese, to satisfy our heartier eaters.  Finally, I used a bit more pasta water at the end and a few handfuls of cheese, to make my favorite kind of pasta sauce- let it melt together, while stirring over low heat, and you'll have something delicious!

Spaghetti with Braised Kale
Bon Appetit, October 2009

3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. kale, large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 pound spaghetti
finely grated Parmesan (I used 2 or 3 small handfuls)

Rinse kale, drain, and transfer to bowl with some water still clinging.  Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat (I used a cast iron dutch oven.)

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 Tbsp. olive oil and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes.  cover pot and reduce heat to medium low.  Continue cooking until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally and ading 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 Tbsp or 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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