I need to get crackin' and get this blog up to date. I have bunches of food pictures on my phone just waiting to be uploaded and "discussed". I'm sort of embarrassed to admit that I have more recent pics of food than my girls. I'm definitely starting to feel that bit of apathy creep in with the cooler weather. So, let's get down to business. I try not to make much pasta, only because I know my husband isn't a huge fan. He always eats it, and never complains, but I know he'd never request it (unless we are talking about my spaghetti and meatballs--which we will cover for sure in 2 weeks, as my almost 4 year old has decided it's what she wants to eat for her birthday dinner). I just needed some noodles last weekend, so I tried out this new recipe I found when looking through a cookbook I hadn't picked up in awhile (I just love the feeling of rediscovering a cookbook. It's ridiculously exciting for me). This book was given to me as a housewarming gift and accompanied a delicious meal of potato and leek soup, brought by my friend Jenni when we moved last year. It's called The Family Dinner: Great ways to connect with your kids one meal at a time. It's a beautiful book full of fun ideas for traditions, meals, and togetherness. It would be a great addition to your home. I found this pasta recipe within the "Meatless Mondays" section. It was delicious, beautiful, and full of good-for-you stuff. The components are big enough that picky eaters can easily remove what they don't wish to eat, which cuts down a bit of work for mom. That is always a good thing. Consider this winner the next time you want a belly full of noodles.
Bowtie Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Kale (technically called "Butterfly Pasta with Kale")
-from The Family Dinner by Laurie David
- 2 bunches of kale
- 1 lb farfalle pasta (penne, rotini, rigatoni, or medium shells would be good options too)
- 3 T olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, slivered (just roughly chop it if you don't want to carefully sliver it. Mince it with a press if you want a less-garlicky flavor)
- 1 1/2 c. sundried tomatoes, drained and rinsed, chopped (or just buy the ones NOT packed in oil that are already julienned. I had some of both on hand and needed both to have enough. Both were great)
- 1/2 c. pine nuts, toasted (toast them in a dry skilled over med-low heat until fragrant, stirring frequently. Watch 'em closely, they will burn and taste horrible)
- parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt well (think ocean water. That is what you are going for). Remove stems from the kale and slice into ribbons (if you stack the leaves on top of each other, then roll like a cigar, you can cut beautiful little ribbons all at once), or coarsely chop. Your choice. Add the kale to the pot for 3-4 min, then remove with a slotted spoon to drain well. Add the pasta to the same boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain, but reserve some cooking liquid (like maybe 1/2 c.). Meanwhile, drizzle the oil in a large saute pan and add the garlic. Saute until golden (stir it constantly, if you burn it the whole dish will taste bad). If you are not confident about your garlic-sauteeing abilities, just stir it around for about 30 seconds until it smells delicious. Everything will still be just fine. Add the kale and sundried tomatoes and continue cooking until everything is tender. Combine the pasta, kale mixture, salt/pepper, and some parmesan cheese (be liberal with it, but please don't use the Kraft crap in the green can), pine nuts and toss well. Add some cooking liquid to moisten if needed. You can serve it just like this, but I actually added a can of white beans when sauteeing the kale and sundried tomatoes for a bit of extra protein (I think they were the Great Northern variety, but canellini would be great, too). The texture worked really well. If you want some meat, I'd brown some turkey Italian sausage after adding the garlic. Kale and Italian sausage are a lovely combination. This made a ton and I ate leftovers for two days without complaint. So did my husband.