Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Recipe: Pasta with Kale

I'm all about simple cooking, not really needing 'recipes' per se. Here is an example of what I mean.

When we cook a turkey, we use every bit of it, including the bones to make stock, which always have lots of juicy little 'bits' of meat on them. We freeze that stock with the meat 'bits' in quart containers to pull out later in the year to combine with pasta. To make this a fast supper does require some planning, so at some point during the week, I might pull one of the quarts out of the freezer to thaw in the refrigerator for several days in order to use quickly for some night's dinner when we are pressed for time or just plain tired.

I use locally-made Al Dente pasta (the whole wheat with flaxseed variety) that I purchase in our local grocery store, which requires only 3 minutes to cook. I bring the entire 1# bag to boil in a large pot for 1-1/2 minute, strain it through a colander, do a quick rinse with warm water, and then combine the partially cooked pasta with the quart of turkey broth and meat in the same large pot, and heat to finish cooking with the broth being absorbed. Making a meal of pasta and turkey with a steamed vegetable and salad is quick, easy, and delicious.

I added a large amount (about 4 cups) of coarsely chopped kale or other vegetables during the second cooking session so the vegetables will be cooked but still brightly colored and crisp when the pasta is done cooking.

Yum, yum and easy as can be!

(Photo: Pasta with kale and garlic scape pesto)
I should confess however that my 'secret' ingredient here is garlic scape - kale pesto, which really zips up this dish by just adding a couple of ice cube size chunks from my freezer to the final pasta mixture right in with the turkey broth. Now we're talking extra yum, yum, yum!!

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate - it's in my pasta!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD