Whole-Wheat Pasta with Kale and Fontina

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

A small amount of bacon infuses this simple dish with a rich smokiness. We used whole-wheat spaghetti to balance the distinct tastes of the kale and the Fontina.


  • 4 slices bacon (2 ounces), cut into ½-inch strips

  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1 bunch kale (1 pound), thick stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 2 cups reduced-sodium canned chicken broth

  • 1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti

  • ½ cup coarsely chopped Fontina cheese


  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons rendered fat.

  2. Cook garlic in same skillet over medium heat until golden, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Add half the kale; cook, tossing until just wilted, 2 minutes. Add remaining kale, and season with salt and pepper; cook, tossing, until all kale has wilted, 2 minutes. Add broth; cover. Simmer until kale is tender, 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot. Add kale and Fontina; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add reserved cooking water as desired. Divide pasta among plates; top with reserved bacon.

Cook's Notes

Fontina cheese is a mild, nutty-tasting cheese that melts nicely into warm pasta, adding both texture and flavor to this dish.

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