The holiday weekend meant a round full of cookouts, resulting in eating more than my fair share of meat: steak, grilled chicken, and a hamburger or two. Luckily, my mom sent me back to Chicago with a bag full of kale from her own garden. I wanted a good vegetarian recipe to utilize the bounty and hopefully atone for what I ate previously. I found this recipe for Tuscan kale and white bean pasta from Care2 and figured it would be a good first step.
The kale becomes incredibly tender, and the beans add some much needed heft to each bite. The slight kick of red pepper flakes is balanced by the acidity of the tomatoes. If you happen to have everything around, it's an easy and remarkably healthy dinner—the recipe's author suggests using a whole wheat pasta to make things even healthier. I felt awfully good about myself after this. That said, there is something definitely missing from this recipe and I'd bet a hundred dollars that bacon would make everything right.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/4 pounds kale, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 cup canned white cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1/2 pound pasta
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
Pour the oil into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Then add the garlic, pepper flakes, and half of the kale. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Dump in the tomatoes and the rest of the kale. Season with a pinch of salt. Cover the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the beans and cook until warmed.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for one minute less than the directions on the packaging. When done, drain the pasta and toss it into the pan with the kale. Turn the heat to high and cook for an additional minute.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with Parmesan if using, and serve.