29 June 2007

Kale and Cannelinni Bean Pasta

There's something extremely satisfying about Italian cooking.

It seems sometimes that Italians know how to make practically everything into a great pasta dish or casserole.

The Carnivore and I were blessed enough to spend a great deal of time in Italy, where his best friend lives, and picked up several tips and tricks from our friend's Italian wife and family.

One great tip: greens go well with beans.

Seriously... the smooth flavour of beans compliments and tempers the bitterness of the greens in a special way and makes two essentially unpalatable foods into ambrosia. And pasta only sweetens the deal.

The carnivore liked it, and the kids begged for leftovers for two days.

This pasta was inspired by our time in Italy (and the ridiculous amount of kale that came with this month's weekly farm shares) and is ridiculously cheap, easy, and...best of all...FAST to make. You can feel free to use any really sturdy leafy green.

Serve this with a really, really sharp parmesean cheese (in thin shavings, not grated!) for best flavour.

Kale and Cannelinni Bean Pasta

6 cups Kale, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces (I never remove the ribs, but you can)
2 cans Cannellini Beans (or 4 cups homemade cooked northern beans)
1 small onion (or one spring onion, green parts included) minced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt (we use sea salt)
pepper (we use ground papaya seeds)
a pinch of crushed red pepper
1 pound GF pasta, store bought, asian, or homemade

Boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta pasta. (remember you'll need to adjust cooking times for fresh pasta -- it only takes about 2 minutes to boil fresh as opposed to eight for dried)

In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the kale, onions, and garlic and cook til wilted (about 8 minutes). Add a large pinch of salt and a generous grinding of pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper: stir. Dump the two cans of beans into this mixture and cook for another two minutes or until beans are heated through.

Mix with the freshly cooked pasta and top with sharp, shaved parm cheese.


Cheryl Harris said...

Hi Naomi--

I gave this a roll and it was yummy. I've always been a fan of collards and mustard greens, but never done kale by itself! and the dish got extra points because I used russian red kale overwintering in my garden.

thanks for sharing!

Slightly Off Balance said...

Isn't it nice when you can pull something from your own garden? I'd never thought of putting in kale -- what is russian red kale???