I’m excited that I’ve been finding more ways to incorporate kale into our diets.  Recently I posted the spicy kale lasagna that we enjoyed to the very last bite.  Here, kale shines mixed with whole grain pasta and a very simple lemon-olive oil dressing.  This simple dish is quick and easy to throw together, and takes no longer to prepare than it takes to cook the pasta.  Jenny was exactly right when she described the sauce as being reminiscent of a Caesar dressing.  The flavors are indeed very similar and the only thing missing is the anchovies.  As a Caesar lover, it’s no surprise I loved this dish.  The original recipe calls for black kale (aka dino or lacinato kale) which is supposed to be more delicate.  Unfortunately the only organic kale at my store was red kale but it seemed to work just fine.  I’ll keep my eye out for the black variety to try in the future.

Lemony Kale Pasta
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For the dressing:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
5-6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
¼-½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the pasta:
1 lb. whole grain pasta, such as penne
1 large bunch kale (black/lacinato kale preferred), rinsed and dried, stems removed
Lemon slices, for garnish
Additional Parmesan, for serving

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.  Meanwhile, make the dressing.  Mince the garlic cloves.  Sprinkle the minced garlic with ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt and smash the garlic into a paste with a fork or the side of a chef’s knife.  Transfer the garlic paste to a small bowl.  Add in the Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, the remaining salt and black pepper.  Whisk together until well combined.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the package directions.  Chop the kale into ½-inch ribbons.  Add the kale to a large bowl and toss with the dressing to coat well.  When the pasta is finished, drain well and let cool a minute or two.  Toss the pasta with the kale and dressing until well coated.  Serve with sliced lemon and additional Parmesan as desired.

Source: Spoon With Me, adapted from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark