Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Kale

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

One of the topics that Alice Waters discusses in the first pages of In The Green Kitchen is how to stock a pantry. Any cook worth his or her salt knows that having a few items such as decent olive oil, onions, garlic, and pasta on hand makes putting together delicious last minute meals easy and relatively stress-free. This recipe for Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Kale comes together in the time it takes for the pasta to cook and with no need to stop off at the market for extra ingredients, providing you have some sort of leafy green on hand.

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The kale is sautéed in a manner which would work for any green—just cook with olive oil, onions, garlic, some crushed red chile, and salt. But adding it to whole wheat pasta and topping the dish generously with shaved Parmesan takes the kale from a side dish to a fulfilling main, expending no extra time along the way.

There are a few lessons to be learned from this recipe. There is, of course, the importance of a well stocked pantry—even without the kale the pasta would be perfectly nice on its own, similar to an aglio e olio. Learning how to quickly sauté greens is another indispensable lesson, getting the feel for the right amount of crisp-tenderness without overcooking them. And lastly, there is the all important skill of putting together a dinner in about ten minutes that you actually want to eat, which serves the purpose of not only feeding and satisfying, but also staving of the urge to call for takeout. When you can have a meal like this in under ten minutes, is it really worth it to call for mediocre pizza or Chinese?

Win In The Green Kitchen

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of In The Green Kitchen to give away this week.

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