Pasta with greens and peas

Another Kick at Kale

Honestly?  I’d never eaten kale until Alex introduced us a couple of months ago.  And I enjoyed it.  It’s not a leaf that takes a back seat.  You know you’ve got your work cut out as it’s full of texture and fibre, never mind that it’s fluorescent green.  This might not appeal to the under 10s or over 90s, but slightly wilted in the pan just before serving and mixed with the other ingredients, kale in this form might even attract the attention of very young and very old.

I would never even have considered a kale recipe before my first swing at the stuff with Alex’s encouragement, but on a recent trip to Toronto I spied one in the Globe and Mail, a Lucy Waverman offering, which I cut out and considered and as usual, decided to use simply as a base for my own concoction.  Is it a genetic tendency or do all of you generally add and subtract from the set piece and experiment freely?

The results in this case were successful which is why I’m offering it to the kale converts in our midst, and perhaps to those kale novices who would like to give it a go.

200g cooked pasta (Lucy suggested orechiette but I had fresh penne to use)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
200g mushrooms, sliced
150g pancetta cubed
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ tsp chili flakes
150g chopped kale (wash and remove the tough mid-rib and stem)
dozen or so cherry tomatoes halved
balsamic (optional)

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the garlic and mushrooms together gently.  Add pancetta and fry together until it is browned.  Add chick peas and chili flakes.  Toss together for about a minute to combine the flavours.

Add kale and cook for a further couple of minutes until the kale is just wilted.  Turn into a big bowl and toss with the cooked, drained pasta (adding a splash of balsamic if necessary to bind the ingredients slightly).

Serve with a scattering of halved cherry tomatoes on top. 

Serves 3 comfortably.

1 comment:

  1. This looks great! I've made something similar with kale and chickpeas before (although minus the pasta) and the flavour combination works really well. The addition of pancetta and balsamic is a good twist - will definitely be trying this soon.

    Welcome to the world of kale!