November 07, 2016
Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish,
Sauce, Hot sauces, Side Dishes, Dairy, Cheese, Pasta, Vegetables, Kale, Italian, North American, 5-Minute Prep, Easy/Beginner Cooking, Quick Meals, Small Batch Cooking, Fall/Autumn, Summer, Weeknight Meals, Blender, Stove Top, Heart Healthy, Vegetarian, Make it from scratch more
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"A simple, healthy, yet delicious sauce; to toss with your favorite pasta. My favorite happens to be bucatini; but, bowtie is probably second on my list. It makes a great 'Meatless Monday' dish. This can be served as a side dish or main dish."
Kale Stems ... There are a couple of ways to remove the stems. First, you can cut the stems out; or, you can hold the end of the kale - make a first around the stem; and, pull straight down. All the leaves will come right off, leaving you with a bare stem. Now, I also like to use the top 3-4" of the stem (the smaller tip part of the stem); and, fine dice them - they have lots of flavor. But, don't chop the kale leaves at this point.
Blanch ... In a large deep saute pan; add about 1" water, and bring to a light boil. Add the kale and diced kale stems, cover; and, let it blanch (cook) 2-3 minutes. Pour out the water (reserving 1/2 cup of the water to use later), and replace with cold water, and a few ice cubes. This will set the bright green color; and, gives the kale a head start with the cooking process. You could always use a separate bowl of ice water - but, why dirty another dish. After the kale has cooled off (just a minute or two); pour out the water; and, transfer the kale to a paper towel to dry.
Vegetables ... Now, in that same pan; add the butter and olive oil, and bring to medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes; and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. As the vegetables cook; prepare your kale.
Kale ... First make sure the kale is very dry (just using paper towels); then, finely chop. After the onion/garlic mix has cooked a few minutes; add the kale; and, season with salt and pepper - you can re-season later. Let the kale cook, covered for 5-7 minutes until tender, stirring often.
Cheese ... Remove the pan off the heat; and, add the milk, ricotta cheese, pecorino romano cheese, broth, basil, parsley; and, stir until everything is well combined. Then, return to medium heat; and, cook a couple of minutes - just until everything is heated through, and the cheese is melted. Also, check for seasoning; and adjust if necessary. And, remember that reserved pasta water from the blanched kale; you can add a bit of that too, if you like the sauce a bit thinner. I like my sauce a bit thinner; so, I do add most of that.
Now, if you like a smooth/creamy sauce; use your immersion blender right in the pan. Or, you can transfer the sauce to a classic blender too. Honestly, I like the rustic texture. That is just a personal preference.
Pasta Toss, Serve and Enjoy ... Cook your pasta is plenty of salted water. Then, simply toss with the sauce, transfer to a serving bowl; and, garnish with the sun dried tomatoes. It's delicious and healthy too! Perfect as a side dish or main dish.
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