Thursday, December 23, 2010

winter pasta (with dark leafy greens)

We had so much kale and other miscellaneous dark leafy greens from our CSA, and this used them up delightfully. The taste certainly comes through, but it's tempered by the creamy goat cheese and the sharp lemon. Originally from 101 Cookbooks. (Kelly, I was wrong -- not Simply Recipes after all!)

Her notes: I used penne here, but you can substitute whatever pasta you like. Spinach can be substituted for the kale if you like as well.

My notes: I used some fancypants spinach egg noodles that I got for Chanukah. And I definitely will be using other random leafy greens the CSA chooses to throw at us.

4 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 small shallots, peeled [I used a regular white onion)
1 small bunch of kale - 1/2 lb / 8 oz, stalks removed, washed well [mine was two ziplocs full of curly and straight and who knows what kinds of kale]
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil [I just used a glug or so]
1/3 cup / 2 oz goat cheese, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons + hot pasta water [oops, forgot this. there was plenty of water as I was blending the veggies]
fine grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
fresh lemon juice - optional [I believe this is not optional]
12 oz / 340 g dried penne pasta
fresh thyme - and thyme flowers [that would have been cool but I did not have]

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the boiling water generously, and add the garlic and shallots. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stir in the kale and cook for another ten seconds. Don't overcook.

Working quickly, use a slotted spoon or strainer to fish the greens, garlic, and shallots from the water. Use a food processor [I used my immersion blender] to puree the ingredients along with the olive oil and goat cheese. Add a couple tablespoons of hot pasta water if needed to thin things out if needed. Then season with a touch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Taste.

Depending on your goat cheese, you might need a little extra acidic oomph [yup] if your sauce is a bit flat. If so, add fresh lemon juice a bit at a time until you're happy with it the sauce. Set aside.

Reheat the pot of water and boil the pasta per package instructions. Drain and toss immediately with the green sauce. Serve topped with a few pinches of fresh thyme, and more crumbled goat cheese.

Serves 4-6.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 10 min

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