Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Kale

Makes 6 first course servings.

Makes 4 main course servings.

Kale is a strong – flavored green with highly recommended health benefits.  Paired with garlic, crushed red pepper and nutty whole wheat spaghetti, it makes for a nutritious and satisfying pasta dish. It can be eaten warm or at room temperature. I generally cook the kale ahead of time and the pasta as needed.  If you wish to make this dish even more wholesome, you can garnish it with Ricotta Salata.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup extra -virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, approx
  • 10 ounces kale (See Note)
  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • A few slices of Ricotta Salata, optional

PREPARATION

  1. Discard kale stems, rinse the leaves and spin dry. Coarsely chop, in batches, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
  2. Heat a wok over medium high heat.  Heat the oil.  Add onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper and cook over medium heat until the onion is lightly colored. Add the kale, increase the heat, and stir until kale is wilted. Cover the wok, reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring from time to time until the kale is tender.
  3. In a large pot bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tablespoon salt. Add the spaghetti and stir. Boil briskly, uncovered for about 6 minutes or until the spaghetti is al dente.
  4. Drain well in a colander, add to the wok and combine well.
  5. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. If pasta is cooked ahead of time, be sure to check the seasoning. This dish absorbs seasoning quickly.

NOTE

5 and 10 ounce packages of kale leaves are available. They are already rinsed. All you have to do is chop them coarsely.