JUNE 23, 2020
It is hot, hot, hot! And humid too.
This is great weather for eating vegetables. They contain a lot of water and will help to cool your body.
This week’s recipe is for rigatoni with a kale sauce. Even if you hate kale, you’ll love this dish. If you absolutely refuse to try kale, you can use spinach instead. This recipe is quick and very easy to make.
RIGATONI WITH KALE SAUCE
- Kosher salt, to taste
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 smashed or chopped cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 lb kale with the thickest ribs removed
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ lb rigatoni (or fusilli or penne or anything else you like)
- ¾ cup coarsely grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a generous amount of salt. Heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat and watch so the garlic doesn’t brown. When the garlic starts to sizzle, reduce the heat to low, and cook very gently until the garlic is soft and begins to turn light gold, about 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat and set aside.
2. When the water is boiling, add the kale leaves, and cook until they are tender, but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Pull out the hot kale leaves with tongs, and put them into a blender. (Don’t drain the water from the pot; you’ll use that same boiling water to cook the pasta.) Add the garlic and oil to the blender, along with a splash of hot water from the pot if you need some more liquid to process the kale. Blend into a fine, thick green purée. Taste the mixture, and adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper, then blending again.
3. Add the pasta to the boiling water, and cook until it is al dente. Ladle out about a cup of the pasta water to save for thickening and finishing the sauce, then drain the pasta and return it to the dry pot. Add the kale purée, about 3/4 of the grated cheese and a splash of the reserved pasta water. Toss the mixture until all the pasta is well coated and bright green, adding another splash of pasta water if needed so that the sauce is loose and almost creamy in texture. Serve right away, topping with an extra swirl of olive oil and the rest of the grated cheese.
HELPFUL HINT; The sauce can be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight in a container with a tight lid.
ANOTHER HELPFUL HINT: If you want to pump up the flavor of this dish, you can add lemon, hot pepper flakes or garlic scapes for some zip.
Enjoy! And let me know if you feel any differently about kale now.
Have a delicious week!