Tuscan Kale with Orecchiette
This recipe is adapted from Sarah Copeland's forthcoming book, "Feast" (Chronicle Books).The deep savoriness of tuscan kale, a backyard-garden staple in northern Italy, makes a superb foundation for soups, sides, and vegetarian mains. In this deceptively simple dish (the onions are essentially quick-pickled right in the pan), the orecchiette is practically treated as a condiment. As soon as you sit at the table, stir a few slices of semisoft goat cheese into the hot greens and pasta until they soften. You'll think to yourself, I could live on this stuff.
- Total Time:
- Servings: 4
Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2013
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- Coarse salt
- 1 pound tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves torn into 3-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
- 12 ounces orecchiette
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 ounces semisoft goat cheese (such as Le Chevrot), for serving
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and toss to coat. Add vinegar and cook until completely reduced, about 1 minute. Season mixture with salt and remove from skillet.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Add kale in batches and cook, stirring, until greens are wilted and just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Season with salt. Return onion mixture to pan, stir to combine, and cook until just heated through.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta.
Return pasta to pot, along with kale, butter, and Pecorino. Cook over medium heat, stirring and adding enough pasta water to form a light sauce that coats pasta. Add nutmeg to taste and season with salt. Divide among 4 bowls and serve each with a few thin slices of goat cheese on top and red-pepper flakes to taste.