ORECCHIETTE WITH KALE AND BREADCRUMBS

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On Sundays, I want pasta. Big bowls of pasta with big glasses of wine. For me, it is the ultimate comfort food before a new week begins. Today, I made a delicious Orecchiette with Kale and Breadcrumbs. A little spice, a little crunch, a lot of flavor.

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ORECCHIETTE WITH KALE AND BREADCRUMBS

Serves 4-6

1 lb Lacinato Kale or any other variety of kale, bottom stems trimmed

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs

6 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 lb orecchiette

3/4-1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

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Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, salt the water. Working in batches if necessary, cook the kale until just tender, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer cooked kale to a baking sheet and let cool. Once cool, squeeze out any excess liquid from the kale. Finely chop leaves and stems, then set aside.

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In a medium-sized pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until they start to brown.  Add one-third of the garlic and cook until breadcrumbs are golden. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and let cool.

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Bring the large pot you cooked the kale in to a boil and make sure it is seasoned with salt. Add the orecchiette and cook until al dente.

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Meanwhile, heat butter and remaining olive oil in the medium-sized pan. Add remaining garlic and chili flakes. Cook for a minute or two. Add kale and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring often, until kale is warmed through, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

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Once the pasta is al dente, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and add drained pasta to the kale mixture. Add 1/2 cup pasta water and stir to coat, add more pasta water as necessary, until the sauce coats the pasta.

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Mix in the Parmigiano Reggiano and 1/2 of the breadcrumbs. Toss to combine and quickly divide the pasta between the bowls. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and finish with the remaining breadcrumbs.

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IMG_5031Enjoy!

(Adapted from Jenkins, Sara, “7 Perfect Pastas”. bon appetit, February 2013: 72)

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