Penne Noodles with Kale

Created 31 Oct 2012 20:27, Updated 31 Oct 2012 20:27

Penne Noodles with Kale

From my coworker, after a conversation about how much I like kale

1/4 c pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 lb penne or other straight, tubular pasta
2 bunches or 2 10-oz bags of kale (substitute canned or frozen kale as desired)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 c (3-4 oz) freshly grated Parmesan, Romano, or other similar hard cheese

Toast the nuts until they are aromatic and light brown, either in an oven at 350 degrees or in a dry skillet on the stove. Set aside to cool.

Bring a large pot of water to boil with 2 tsp of the salt, and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Wash the kale. If using kale in a bunch, remove and discard the stems. Chop or tear coarsely.

In a wide skillet with a lid, cook the garlic and olive oil over medium heat about three minutes or until garlic is light golden brown. Add the red pepper flakes, oregano, pepper, kale, and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Stir, then cover and cook 10 minutes, or until the leaves are as tender as you like them.

Stir ricotta into the kale mixture, along with the remaining pasta water as needed, to desired consistency. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp salt and then toss with noodles and nuts.

Serve on a platter or individual plates, topped with the grated Parmesan.

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