Another idea gathering from friends, I went searching for a recipe that incorporated kale, white beans and pasta. I settled on one from Vegetarian Times that most closely met the proportions of my ingredients. After looking through my usual internet suspects I settled on the recipe for Pasta with Greens and White Beans from Vegetarian Times. But then I tweaked with the proportions out of a desire to create a meal more closely tied to our kale amount (10 ounces) and number of servings desired. It turned out okay, but nothing special IMO; of course my proportion tweaking might be too blame (too many beans, I needed more liquid for the kale, and covered the mistakes with a generous shaving of parmesan cheese). This version did come together very quickly and I like the idea of the dish so I will be trying a different recipe next time.
Kale and white beans with pasta
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 t red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small bunch lacinto kale
- 2-4 tablespoons water (or veggie broth)
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 oz whole wheat spaghetti
- parmesan (optional)
Give the kale a bath in a sinkful of cool water and start the pot of water to boil for the pasta. Finish washing the kale and give it a good shake but don’t worry about removing all the water. Remove the tough stems from the kale leaves (easily done by dragging the knife along the stem) and then chop the leaves into 1″ wide strips. Mince the garlic and get the water (or stock) measured and ready.
Once you add the pasta to the boiling water heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil and stir until nice and fragrant, add the kale to the skillet and pour at least 2 tablespoons of water (or stock) over the kale and quickly cover it. Let it steam for a minute or two and then stir (tossing with tongs is actually a little easier than stirring effectively) and cover again. When the kale is nicely wilted and softening add the beans and stir. Cover again and check in a couple mintues to make sure it is heated through. You might need to add more water during this process of wilting and adding beans (I did, I started with 2 tablespoons of stock but when I needed more I just used water). When the pasta is done drain it and add to the skillet with the kale and beans and toss well. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve. Top with grated parmesan if desired.
Side note: I ate the leftovers (it made three generous servings) cold and it was pretty decent. I threw on a little bit of red wine vinegar and a few turns of fresh pepper and I think the vinegar added something to the dish overall.