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. ūüôā

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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Pauli’s Friday Favs

Happy Friday!

It’s been a crazy week for me this past week and I am so happy to be posting the Friday Fav’s for so many reasons…!

First of all the work week is done – yaaay, however I will be doing some of my work at home this weekend to play catch up. ¬†Why you ask? ¬†Oh that little event called Canada Blooms! ¬†Yup that show is on this week and wraps up this coming weekend. ¬†There are some beautiful things to see and if you are looking for home ideas for renos or gardens or even just stuff for you home – this is the place to be! ¬†I was there working at the Toronto Botanical Shop and it was crazy busy! ¬†Which of course is great but wow….the feet were screaming! ¬†The shop itself has some of the most amazing things and if you do get a chance to go to Canada Blooms – by all means please stop by at the TBG booth!

Second of reason is that this is Race Weekend! ¬†Yup it’s finally here….Around the Bay is this Sunday in Hamilton and my nerves are a tiny bit on edge but I know it will be a great run and since I’m running with the best running partner – my sister Marie ¬†– we will do it together as we have done for almost all of the races including the last two 1/2 Marathons.

And lastly, well ….its the weekend and who wouldn’t be happy for a weekend! ¬†I’m off for dinner at the fabulous Fratelli’s Italian¬†restaurant¬†(*yaaay for Carb-loading!) and boy do they know how to make Italian! ¬†It will be the first time back since they had a big fire destroy a large part of the¬†restaurant¬†(already a tiny eatery) and I am so excited to see Sal, the owner and the rest of his great staff!

I’ll write a¬†separate¬†post for Fratelli’s and give you a review on some of their wonderful dishes!

Ok so without further ado…buckled up kiddies – here are this weeks Friday Favs!

 

this is how I will begin my Friday Favs!

*Friday Disclaimer:¬†I’ve included a link and site address to each of these items and please note that I am not being paid to promote or¬†advertise¬†any of my Favs ¬†– these are just things that I have discovered online in my internet travels and want to share with you!

Floral Favs

This beautiful globe can be found at the Toronto Botanical Garden Booth at the 2013 Canada Blooms show. ¬†It is absolutely beautiful and the plant – an Air Plant – is one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen! ¬†I have been told that this little plant can just be misted once a week and it will grow without soil or a potted bed – just as is. ¬†How cool is that?! ¬†I took such a liking to this concept that I purchased one for each of my family members and some of their Air Plants have tiny blooms on them. ¬†Can’t wait to see the flowers ūüôā ¬†It is spring after all……

This is an Air Plant in a hand-blown glass globe.Available at the TBG booth at Canada Blooms!

This is an Air Plant in a hand-blown glass globe.
Available at the TBG booth at Canada Blooms!

House & Home Favs 

I found this adorable little guy on Fancy.com ¬†– I totally don’t need this but how cute would that be to have on your home office or work office! ¬†Just having him around would make me smile!

They have some of the neatest things on this site!  You should definitely check it out!

Beaver Pencil Shapener!  How adorable is this!

Beaver Pencil sharpener!
How adorable is this!

http://www.fancy.com

 

Event Idea Favs

Spring is in the air and what a perfectly adorable cake idea! ¬†If you are having an Easter Celebration or want something special to welcome in the Spring – this is the perfect item for your dessert table! ¬†This great DYI cake is courtesy of http://www.thecakeblog.com. ¬†She has some fantastic cakes and ideas and if this doesn’t inspire you then I don’t know what will!

DYI Spring Chick Cake!  How adorable is this?!

DYI Spring Chick Cake! How adorable is this?!

If you want to have a peak at the instructions just follow this linke and enjoy!  http://thecakeblog.com/2012/04/diy-spring-chick-cake.html#

photo courtesy of The CakeBlog.com

Main Dish Favs

Carb-loading.  Carb-heaven. Carb lovers unite!

This is the one thing I do love about pre-race days – the carb-loading…. for those of you that don’t run/race, this is where we runners get to load up on all things carb ūüôā Happy Days, Happy Days ūüėČ ¬†It’s been said that by eating carbs before a race, you will race better, have lots of fuel to get you through those long, sometimes painful moments of running long distances….. Well looking at this pasta dish, running 30km this Sunday might make it worth it.

Have you seen anything so yummy looking people?  I for one, love pasta and these little pillows of delight are some of my favorite type of pasta.

The blog that you can find this recipe on (http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.ca/2010/10/gnocchi-mac-cheese.html) is fabulous.  The food here will make you drool and want to run wildly into your local grocery store to gather up the ingredients to make these wonderful dishes.  Sigh.  Truly drool worth.

This particular dish, this Gnocchi Mac and Cheese, had me drooling and made me happy AND wanting me to try making it. ¬†Gnocchi is a fairly easy pasta to make from scratch ¬†you just have to have patience and not over think it or over handle it. ¬†Like most things……

Have a look this website and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree – some pretty fine recipes to try out – and if not try out, certainly worth drooling over.

Mac n Cheese Gnocchi.Are you drooling yet?photo courtesy of http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.ca

Mac n Cheese Gnocchi.
Are you drooling yet?
photo courtesy of http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.ca

 

 

Sweetspot Fav

So I couldn’t just pick one for the Sweetspot Section of this Friday Favs….I just couldn’t. ¬†Blame it on nerves or on hormones or just on the fact that I have a sweet tooth…. the point is that it was near¬†impossible¬†to just pick one Sweetspot Fav. ¬†Sigh. ¬†Sue me. ¬†Send me angry comments. ¬†Do what ever you feel you need to! ¬†I just have to put these I-think-I died-and-went-to-dessert¬†heaven up here.

Enjoy. ¬†I know I did….

Oh and btw РI promise I will be actually trying out these recipes Рall of them Рhere and posting under my Test Kitchen section.  I will start next weekend as I will be needing to make some new things for our families Easter weekend.  Stay tuned!

First on the I can’t ignore this one list is…

This is a Black Forest Cupcake.

O.M.G.

I could run to one of these at the finish line and be happy.

Black Forest Cupcakes.Who needs Ryan Gosling at the finishline when you can have this?!photo courtesy of http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com

Black Forest Cupcakes.
Who needs Ryan Gosling at the finish line when you can have this?!
photo courtesy of http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com

If you are a baker- or love all things baked….this my friends is the blog for you. ¬†Seriously. ¬†Her stuff makes me want to weep. ¬†She actually has more than just baked goods – she has a whole array of wonderful recipes and her blog is a delight to read! ¬†So please do head over there for a peak!

http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/

This next Sweetspot Fav is something that I dream about. ¬†Literally. I dream of biting into that chocolaty crunchy goodness….. swoon.

This Matzo Toffee Bar Crunch will leave you licking your fingers and making excuses to go into the kitchen to ….uhmm… tidy up the cutlery drawer… yes thats right…we are tidying that drawer right up with a mouth full of Matzo Toffee Bar Crunch!

And this one can be found at none other than http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

Yes. That’s right. ¬†The Huff Post has some seriously good recipes. ¬†You should have a read. ¬†It will brighten your entire weekend! ¬†True Story.

 

matzo toffee bar crunch. DE-lish. sigh.

matzo toffee bar crunch. DE-lish. sigh. Photo courtesy of http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/14/passover-recipes_n_2876336.html

And finally at the Sweetspot…..

Just because they looked so pretty and so fantastic that I just had to pick this ¬†one out…. It’s the BEST SWIG SUGAR COOKIE ever. ¬†Literally. ¬†No lie. ¬†I mean just look at it.

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe. Ever.photo courtesy of http://www.vintagerevivals.com

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe. Ever.
photo courtesy of http://www.vintagerevivals.com

To get your hands on this super lovely cookie recipe please follow this link:

http://www.vintagerevivals.com/2013/03/swig-sugar-cookie-recipe-literally-best.html

Enjoy!

Motivation Favs

For my Motivational Fav I wanted to choose something that really inspired me for this weekends Around The Bay Race. ¬†For me its a total wonder that I can even run 5km let alone 30km! ¬†It boggles the mind and to be completely honest with you – I have no idea how I keep going some days…… ¬†So… I, like everyone else need that little extra push, that little extra something to keep me going and help me focus on what this means to me. ¬†So for that reason, I have chosen this for this Fridays Motivation Fav.

This is a great blog and one that really does inspire.  Have a look and enjoy!

fitgirlhappygirl

 

http://fitgirlhappygirl.com/2013/02/11/only-you-can-celebrate-your-running-milestones/

ps To my sister and best friend in the world РMarie Р(aka La Gord) thank you for running with me, for putting up with my madness and for being a trooper.  We will be just fine at ATB!

And my friend and running buddy Bruce Рyou are awesome. Thank you for your support and super positive energy!

See you Sunday!

Signing off now …. Will let you know how this weekend went – hoping to survive in one piece, especially that big old nasty hill right at the end. ¬†Oh and the big finish at COPPS Colesieum!

Have an excellent weekend.

 

xo

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