Kale and Sundried Tomato Spaghetti
If you follow my posts closely you’ll notice that consecutive recipes include the same ingredients. It’s no secret I’m cooking for one and trying to use up the food in my house. Sometimes this works great and sometimes it’s like a bad episode of Food Network’s Chopped. I think I spent a week using up the giant bag of kale that I bought. But that isn’t a bad thing when delicious things come together like this pasta. Sauteing kale is one of my favorite ways to cook it. With it being a little bit tough the heat softens it yet doesn’t wilt it to the point that it becomes lost within the sauce. It actually gets a little bit crispy on the edges.
I could almost mark this recipe as a pantry meal. The sundried tomatoes and pasta are easy to keep on hand for when you need them. Cheese should just always be in your refrigerator. And if it’s not I recommend you start making that a best practice in your life. I don’t think you’ll ever say, ‘gosh, we have more cheese in this house than we can eat!’.
This recipe is the comfort of pasta yet light enough that you don’t feel like you overdid it. The recipe is written for two, but you can easily adjust for the portion you need. Just eye ball the ingredients to your liking. The leftovers store well in the refrigerator overnight so its great for a lunch the next day.
Kale and Sundried Tomato Spaghetti Recipe
- 2 cups curly kale, stems removed, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 or 5 ounces spaghetti noodles
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, in oil, julienne sliced (or chopped whole sundried tomatoes)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Remove the thick stems from the kale and chop the leaves into about 2 cups.
- Peel and mince 2 garlic cloves.
- Follow the instructions on the package to cook the spaghetti until al dente. Be sure to salt the boiling water to season the pasta. Drain the pasta noodles, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes (careful to not burn the garlic).
- Add the kale and cook 2-3 minutes until it begins to soften. Sprinkle generously with salt and black pepper.
- Add 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes including the oil that coats the tomatoes and 1/2 tsp dried basil. (If you are using sundried tomatoes not in olive oil, add an additional 1 Tbsp of olive to the skillet).
- Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat in the oil, kale and tomatoes. If the noodles stick to the bottom of the pan add some of the reserved pasta water.
- Reduce the heat to low and add 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine until the cheese is melted.
This is one of those recipes that doesn’t really need a recipe. I usually eye ball the amount of kale, tomatoes and noodles. I like more kale and tomatoes in comparison to the noodles so I usually load up on both of those. The kale will shrink down as you cook it so adjust the amount to what you like best.
I like to use whole wheat pasta best, but you can use regular, gluten free or rice pasta depending on what you like. Any type of pasta noodle will do. A penne or curly pasta tastes really good when the sauce gets into the crevices of the pasta. Again, pick what you like best.
The starch from the pasta water and the cheese binds everything together. I usually just eye ball the amount of Parmesan at the end. I’ve found you can never really add to much cheese!
If you want to add another layer of flavor, add 1 tsp of anchovy paste to the garlic and let it dissolve in the oil. It adds a bit of salty unami, but skip it if you don’t have anchovy paste on hand.