Thursday, January 8, 2015

Goat Cheese Lemon Pasta with Kale

When life hands you kale flower sprouts, make goat cheese lemon pasta with it! In our CSA pick up last week we were handed a curios new vegetable.  Basically a hybrid between brussels sprouts and kale, they are tiny little sprouts with a purplish leaves. The flavor is not quite as pungent as regular kale, and since they are so small you can eat the entire leaf without having to trim the tough rib from the center.  They also last a while in the fridge - added bonus.
The official website (when did vegetables start getting their own websites?) claims they are super healthy and lists some recipes, none of which sound particularly appealing.  So what does one make with these you ask? Apparently pretty much anything you would make with regular kale. When in doubt, sauté in garlic in olive oil! I did a quick search online for kale recipes involving pasta (we had half a box of rotini in the pantry) and one of my favorite blogs happened to have the recipe below.  It's simple as can be - sauté onions & garlic, add kale, lemon zest & juice; cook the pasta, add goat cheese and combine with the kale mixture.  We had dinner ready in 20 minutes. Rachael Ray would be jealous.

The recipe below is from two peas & their pod, slightly adapted by me.  I've included the direct link to their original recipe here.

12 ounces pasta - penne, farfalle, rotini, etc.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium shallot (or 1/2 a small red onion), diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (if you can handle some heat, substitute an Italian long hot pepper, sliced thin)
Zest of 1 large lemon
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 small bunch kale (about 5 cups), coarsely chopped, stems removed (we substituted kale flower sprouts)
5 ounces goat cheese
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and cook pasta according to package directions.
2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot/onion and garlic. Cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and/or long hots. Stir in the chopped kale. Stir and add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook until kale leaves are wilted and tender.
3. Carefully drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water. Return to pot. Crumble the goat cheese over the hot pasta and stir until creamy. It should look like mac & cheese.  If it's too dry, add some pasta water and stir. Add the kale/lemon mixture and stir well. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately. 

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