Weeknight Pasta with Walnut Sauce and Kale

Hello!

In a past life as a personal chef, I would make this recipe for a client almost every week.┬áHe couldn’t consume anything acidic (onions, garlic, vinegar, etc) so I was always searching for ways to get a lot of flavor into a dish without falling back on those ingredients. You can add onions, garlic and/or vinegar but I think this dish is good without them too. And it’s one of those recipes that you can vary in SO many ways:

  • Pasta: I used fusilli but but you can use just about anything (if you make the sauce chunky, I think a short pasta would work best; if you puree the sauce, long, thin pasta would also work).
  • Nuts: I like the combination of walnuts and pine nuts but you can use just walnuts or try a different combination of your choice.
  • Herbs: I always used parsley in the past but I think basil or chives would be great too
  • Cheese: I like the way Pecorino stands up to the flavor of the walnuts but I think Parmesan or even goat cheese would be great.
  • Greens: don’t limit yourself to just kale – arugula, collards or chard would also be great. For tender greens, you can fold them right into the hot pasta without cooking them first.
  • Optional items: saute a little garlic with the kale and then deglaze the pan with a little white wine; finish with a little lemon juice or white wine vinegar; add caramelized onions.

Pasta with Walnut Sauce and Kale
makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pasta of choice (I used fusilli)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces kale, destemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pecorino
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  • Cook pasta according to packing instructions and drain. Set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12″ traditional skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the kale and saute, stirring frequently, until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to a large mixing bowl.
  • Clean out the skillet used for the kale and dry. Return to the stovetop and toast walnuts over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a large cutting board. Toast the pine nuts, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to the cutting board. At this point, you can either chop the nuts finely by hand or transfer 3/4 to a food processor and process until finely ground; roughly chop the remaining nuts for added texture. Transfer nuts to the bowl with the kale.
  • Add the parsley, butter, olive oil and cheese to the bowl with the kale and nuts and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Mix with pasta and serve.

 


Pasta with Tatsoi & Gingered Butter Sauce

Hello,

You are receiving tatsoi in your CSA share this week so I wanted to share this really fast and flavorful recipe that I made a few weeks ago. There isn’t much to it so I would suggest serving it as a side dish or adding some protein to make it a complete meal. Enjoy!

Pasta with Tatsoi & Gingered Butter Sauce
Serves 4-6 as a main dish, 6-8 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pasta (I used penne but really anything would work)
  • 1/2 pound (1 medium head) of tatsoi
  • 1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions then drain and set aside.
  • Remove the root end of the tatsoi and thinly slice the stems and leaves, taking care to keep them separate.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a 12″ traditional skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the sake, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. Add the tatsoi leaves and stir until wilted. Toss with the pasta and season to taste.

Triple Sesame Noodles with Pak Choi

Hey hey!

At a loss for how to use your pak choi? Give this easy, delicious recipe a try. I made it super simple by just using pak choi but you could beef it up with other veggies or protein (steamed carrots and cubed tofu come to mind). We hope you like it!

Triple Sesame Noodles with Pak Choi
makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 large head of pak choi
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Directions:

  • Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Transfer to a large container, toss with sesame seed oil and set aside.
  • Slice off the root end of the pak choi and separate the leaves from the stalks. Slice both the leaves and the stalks about 1/2″ thick and clean thoroughly. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high in a 12″ non-stick skillet until just smoking. Add the stalks and cook until the first side has started to brown, about 1-2 minutes. Stir and allow the other side to cook through and start to brown, another minute or two. Add the leaves and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a colander if there appears to be some liquid in the pan. Then transfer to the bowl with the spaghetti.
  • Whisk the tahini, soy sauce, water, honey and garlic in a small mixing bowl until completely combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Pour over the noodles and pak choi and toss to combine. Transfer to individual serving bowls and top with the toasted sesame seeds.

 


Recipes From Around the Web :: Greens Edition

Hi everyone!

We are knee deep in delicious greens so thought I would share some tasty recipes that are on my “must-try” list. The greens in most of these recipes are interchangeable with each other so feel free to experiment. We would love to hear how you use them!

Greens of All Kinds!

First up: you will come to realize that I rely on Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen for the basis of a ton of recipes (not to mention their equipment reviews and taste tests). It just so happens they are coming out with a cookbook titled The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook and have asked numerous food bloggers to test and post recipes from the book. Below are two that use greens and look amazing!

There are a lot of things I wish I thought of first – one of them being collard green wraps! Seriously, they don’t take much time and you can stuff them with just about anything. They are a great gluten-free option, too.

I think this next recipe would be great with the tender collards we are getting right now. Add in other colorful veggies from the market, plus this tahini based dressing, and you can’t go wrong!

Sometimes, you don’t need much to put together a healthful and satisfying meal. It’s just pasta, greens and cheese but it’s sure to satisfy.

Until next time, enjoy your greens!