Happy Tuesday! How was your weekend? I heard it was beautiful in New York. Jon, Riley & I spent the weekend with our family in Pennsylvania where we went for a run, ate Easter Brunch, took a long walk with the dogs, and snacked on lots of Reese’s peanut butter cups. It’s always so nice when we can get away from the city and breathe a little. But Spring is here (or on its way) and I’m excited for all that it will bring. Longer days, greener trees, backyard gardening, morning runs, sidewalk happy hours, and warmer trips to the dog park.
Since we were away, I wasn’t able to bake anything for my Sunday Baking series. But that’s okay! Because instead, I’m bringing you a special treat. One of my top 3 suppers ever. This is the dish I’ve made more than any other over the years, one our little family craves on a weekly basis. (Riley included! Her very favorite thing to steal out of the garbage is kale stems, honest!) Here are the reasons why this is my favorite dish to eat/make:
- I LOVE KALE! And this dish allows me to cram an entire bunch per person into it.
- There aren’t a ton of pasta dishes in which I think whole-wheat pasta actually tastes better. This is one of them.
- I’m a sucker for caramelized onions & garlic.
It has the most wonderfully complex flavor. Braised kale, lots of garlic, lemon juice to brighten it up, and a hefty amount of parmesan. Oh my gosh, now I’m going to have to make this tonight. You should too! I hope you love it as much as we do.
adapted from Bon Appétit
3T olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
7-10 cloves of garlic (your preference), minced
2 bunches of laminate kale*, large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
8 oz whole-wheat spaghetti
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
large handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese
kosher salt & pepper
In a large, deep sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 mins until soft and translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook for another 5 mins. Don’t let the mixture burn, but don’t be afraid to get it to a nice deep golden brown color. This adds a tremendous amount of flavor.
While the onions & garlic are cooking, cut your kale and give it a good rinse. Spin-dry but leave some water clinging to the leaves. Add the kale to the pan with the onions & garlic. With tongs, move it around in the pan for a couple of minutes until it begins to wilt. If you can’t fit all of the kale into the pan at once, add the remainder once the first batch has wilted down a bit. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium to medium-low heat for about 20 mins total. After the first 5 minutes, add a good a mount of salt & pepper and stir. You’ll continue to stir about every 5 minutes, adding water by the tablespoon if it gets too dry and is sticking to the pan. The goal here is for it to get very nicely browned and almost sort-of caramelized, but you don’t want it to burn.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until 1 minute before al dente. Strain spaghetti and toss into the pan with the kale mixture. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the lemon juice and butter. Continue to cook for another minute – the spaghetti will soak up all the wonderful flavors in the pan. You can add another tablespoon or so of water if you want there to be a bit more “sauciness.” Personally, I prefer the dish on the drier side. Turn out onto a nice platter and sprinkle copious amounts of cheese. Bring the lemon with you to the table in case you enjoy another squeeze or two.
Notes: The size of one bunch of kale is different practically every time I go to the grocery store to purchase it. After you make this meal once, you’ll be more familiar with how much more or less kale you can comfortably stuff into that pot. As mentioned, I love kale and prefer this dish very kale heavy, but you can adjust to your preference. You can also substitute the lacinato kale for regular kale with no problem, though regular kale often comes in much larger bunches. This dish can easily be doubled, but I wouldn’t add too much more kale. 3 bunches max.
Seves 2 generously.