Kosher salt, to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 cloves garlic, smashed flat and peeled
1 pound kale, thick ribs removed (dark green, curly kale)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ pound pasta, like pappardelle or rigatoni
¾ cup coarsely grated Parmigiano- Reggiano
- Put a large pot of generously salted water over high heat, and bring to a boil.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic, and cook until the garlic begins to sizzle. Reduce heat to low, and cook very gently until garlic is soft and begins to turn light gold, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- When water is boiling, add kale leaves, and cook until tender, but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Pull out the hot, dripping kale leaves with tongs, and put directly into a blender. (Don’t drain the pot; you’ll use that same boiling water to cook the pasta.)
- Add garlic and its oil to the blender, along with a splash of hot water from the pot if you need some more liquid to get the blender going. Blend into a fine, thick green purée. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, then blend again.
- Add the pasta to the still-boiling water, and cook according to directions on the package. Ladle out about a cup of the water to save for finishing the dish, then drain the pasta and return it to the dry pot. Add the half of the kale purée, about 3/4 of the grated cheese and a splash of the reserved pasta water. Toss until all the pasta is well coated and bright green, adding another splash of pasta water and more kale sauce if needed so that the sauce is loose and almost creamy in texture. Serve in bowls right away, and top with an extra drizzle of olive oil and the rest of the grated cheese. Any leftover kale sauce can be frozen.
1-pound U26-30 shrimp, peeled and deveined-5 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, add the shrimp to the pasta and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Continue with recipe as written.
More uses for this Kale Sauce
- add to any soup
- add to any pasta sauce
- add cream to the kale sauce and drizzle over pasta, chicken, steak, pork, seafood
- spread on sandwiches or wraps
- stir into eggs to make kale scrambled eggs
- combine with homemade stock to make a soup
- add to Asian noodle bowl