This is a wonderful and interesting dish – a great option for a vegetarian night.  There are so many tastes (and textures) going on: salty feta and olives , sour dried cranberries, bitter kale, sweet red onion, and aromatic garlic.  I could eat this once every two weeks — and I don’t know why I don’t!  It’s great with linguine, but also great with healthier penne (we often use Barilla Plus or Barilla Whole Grain). In this photo I tried a brown rice penne from Trader Joe’s which was also good.  Two notes: 1) whole wheat pastas don’t reheat that well (so chewy!) just in case you plan to make enough to have leftovers and 2) I thought 5-6 cloves of garlic was plenty (recipe calls for an entire head).

Pasta with Kale, Olives and Cranberries

Recipe from the blog Two Peas and Their Pod.

Pasta with Kale, Kalamata Olives, Dried Cranberries, Toasted Garlic & Feta

Yield: Serves 6-8

This pasta dish is also known as “crazy spaghetti” because it is crazy good-a family favorite!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound spaghetti or other pasta (we use whole wheat)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, cut into slivers-pits removed
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Cook onion in the remaining oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add dried cranberries and cook until plumped, about 1 minute.

2. Add kale leaves into onion mixture with water and 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until almost tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until aldente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water and drain pasta.

4. Toss pasta with kale, Kalamata olives, and 1/2 cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta cheese and garlic chips over the pasta dish and serve warm.

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