Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Spaghetti with Braised Kale

from Bon Appetit, October 2009

1 pound lacinato kale, large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
3 T. olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 pound spaghetti
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse kale. Drain; transfer to bowl with some water still clinging.

Heat 2 T. olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. 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 T. 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 adding 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 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Sprinkle spaghetti with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Mushrooms

Recipe from "Our Best Bites" cook book (a similar recipe can be found at ourbestbites.com)

1/2 lb Farfalle/Bowtie Pasta (that's 1/2 a 16oz box or a little over 3 cups dry pasta)
1/2 cup Pesto
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
8oz mushrooms (about 3 C sliced)
3T pine nuts
Parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

1.  Place a large stock pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
2.  Remove stems from mushrooms and slice.  Place tomatoes and mushrooms on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil (3-4 T should do it)  toss with your fingers making sure everything is coated and then lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.  Cook in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes.  You can tell the tomatoes are ready when the skins start to split. Don't overcook them or they'll be mush!

3.  When water comes to a boil add a little salt and the pasta. 

4.  Toast pinenuts:  Place nuts in a dry skillet on med heat.  Stir constantly.  They will start to turn glossy which means the oils are releasing.  Then they'll start to brown.  (have you checked your pasta?  go check your pasta)  Let them get golden brown and then remove them from the pan to cool.  It should take about 7-10 minutes total.

5.  Your pasta should be done, drain it if you haven't already.

6. Tomatoes and mushrooms should be done about now, take them out of the oven.

Put it all together!  Place pasta in a large bowl and combine with as much pesto as you need.  Place tomatoes and mushrooms on top and sprinkle on lots of fresh parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle pine nuts on top and serve.

Serves 4-6.  4 generous main dish servings and 6 we're-having-other-stuff-with-it servings.