Spicy, Garlicky Kale Pasta
Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes | Serves Serves 4 to 6
- 1 bunch kale
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 box (1 pound) a short pasta like the cavatappi (shown here)
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Fill a large pot with water about 1 inch from the top. Place on the stove, turn heat on to high, and let the water come to a boil. Place your colander in the sink.
Pull the kale leaves from the stems; discard the stems. Tear the leaves into small pieces (you will get about 10 cups total). Put into a salad spinner, wash, and spin dry. Chop the garlic.
Place another large pot on the stove and turn the heat on to medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat until it shimmers (1 to 2 minutes). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the kale and toss with tongs so it’s coated with the oil and garlic then add the water. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the kale is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the salt, red pepper, and black pepper (about 12 turns of pepper mill). Remove from the heat.
Your water should be boiling by this point. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. When the pasta is al dente, use a liquid measuring cup to scoop out 3/4 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and the remaining water.
Add the pasta to the kale and turn the heat on to medium. Add the reserved pasta water. Once it comes to a boil, add the cheese and stir, using a wooden spoon, until it melts and coats the pasta. Keep stirring until it’s nice and creamy. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of the oil. Taste it. You may want to add a little more salt. Serve with a little more Parmesan.
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