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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Orecchiette with Kale & Breadcrumbs

Ah what a difference a day (or two) makes. Dylan and I fled the island for 24 hours - visited a city museum, met friends for lunch, and had a sleepover with my parents. I was in a true funk Monday morning and am happy I did something drastic about it. A change of scene and a busy day can do wonders. And remember what I said about winter? Well yeah, I take it all back. I'm over it. Daffodils and bird chirps please.

But I guess while we still can let's eat pasta. If you need a special dinner idea for tomorrow night this is a good one. Easy, yummy, and perfect with red wine and chocolate dessert.

Orecchiette with Kale & Breadcrumbs
from Bon Appetit February 2013
serves 6

1 lb Tuscan kale (about 2 large bunches), stems removed
5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
3 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 
1 lb. orecchiette (little ear shaped pasta)
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese 

1. Cook kale in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet; let cool. Set aside pot of water. Squeeze out excess liquid from kale; chop leaves; set aside.

2. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add one-third chopped garlic and cook, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are golden, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; let cool.

3. Heat butter and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add red pepper flakes, and remaining garlic. Cook about 2 minutes. Add reserved kale and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring often, until kale is warmed through, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Meanwhile, bring reserved kale cooking liquid to a boil; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

5. Add pasta and 1/2 cup cooking liquid to kale mixture and stir to coat. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring until sauce coats pasta. Mix in Parmesan and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs; toss to combine. Divide pasta among bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and top with remaining bread crumbs.


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