Saucy Kale and Tomato Pasta

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I was trying to decide what to eat – knowing that I had to eat/fuel to run since I have a run scheduled for Saturday before the predicted big snowfall. Usually I make a simple pasta dinner the night before a LSR (Long, Slow Run) – with a very easy tomato sauce that can be made in 30 mins. Tonight, after chatting with my running partner Kathy about what to have for supper (she was enjoying lasagna! Yum!) I decided to add a few new things to my good, old faithful – Kale and some sun-dried tomatoes, olives and for good measure a cherry bomb pepper.
Wow! It was really great and so quick and easy!

Here is the recipe.
Saucy Kale and Tomato Pasta
Pasta of choice (**I always use real pasta – Barilla is great and occasionally I will make my own or try another type of imported noodles, always from Italy!)
3 large ripe tomatoes
Kale
Organic garlic – 2 cloves (thank you SP!)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (directly from Puglia, Italy — soooo good!)
Hot sauce – such as Frank’s (you just need a dash or two)
Rock salt for water for pasta
Italian blend of Seasonings
Store bought Antipasta mix:
-sun-dried tomatoes
– green olives
– cherry bomb peppers
**I just love this mix, if you have a Antipasta bar at your local grocery store you can pick and choose what you like and don’t like – if you don’t like olives, pick something else, or if you want something a little spicier go crazy!

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Put a pot of water to boil and add salt to taste.
While the water is heating up, start slicing the garlic thinly (**do NOT chop garlic!) and chopping the tomatoes and kale.
In another large pan on medium heat (I like to use a wok like pan, but please use what you like) add enough olive oil to coat the pan and add the sliced garlic, cook till lightly browned and remove once it’s been browned as you only want the infusion of the garlic not the actual garlic (you can discard it or use it for something else such as garlic bread or whatever else you like).

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Add the chopped tomatoes to the hot oil and cook on medium heat, stirring while the tomatoes cook, this should take about 10 minutes, you can now add the kale. Now if you really love kale, add as much as you want, if you’re not sure, like me, use only about 10-15 stems – I know that sounds like a lot but like spinach, it does cook down quite a bit. At this point, drizzle some olive oil (about 1-2 tablespoons) into the sauce and add a couple of shakes of Italian spices.
As this cooks, you can add the pasta to the boiling water, unlike to set the timer from between 6 and 7 mins- depending on the type of pasta. I like my pasta al dente, but feel free to cook it to your liking.
While the pasta cooks, keep an eye on the kale and tomato sauce.

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Now here is, to me anyway, the secret to any good sauce…
As the sauce cooks, add 2 ladles of the pasta water, one at a time. The water will absorb into the sauce.
Turn down the heat to low but keep on eye on the sauce. It should now have thickened up nicely and all the kale should be very soft. At this point you can toss in some of the Antipasta …. And a couple of dashed of hot sauce ……Or not. πŸ™‚

Once the pasta is cooked, drain as usual and plate pasta in a bowl and top with Saucy Kale and Tomato Sauce and if you’re like me – fresh Parm Cheese.
Enjoy!

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