Bright is the new black, no? And kale the new spinach? It definitely is in my kitchen. Poor spinach. It used to make an appearance at our table at least two if not three times a week. Not recently though.
The sturdy, curly kale leaf has supplanted spinach in my salads and pastas. Hell, it’s even starting to replace potatoes in some instances (kale chips anyone?).
Okay, I’ll admit, I’m slightly obsessed with kale. But for good reasons. While some of you may have been eating kale for years, I missed an entire childhood of kale eating. Instead my greens consisted of iceberg (which could be called a white), romaine, and yes, spinach. Organic kale is cheaper per pound than most other greens, and it doesn’t wilt away to nothing when sauteed. Plus, it just makes me feel good to be eating a superfood!
Kale, a member of the cabbage family, is rich in vitamins K, A, C, fiber, calcium, and iron. When eaten raw, the hearty leaves have a crunchy texture that is extremely satisfying. Even when cooked kale maintains an almost meaty quality.
Following is a super-easy, super satisfying recipe for pasta with kale. While it does contain bacon—which you may be thinking negates kale’s goodness—the pork addition sure makes the dish taste good.
I’ll post my super-healthy kale salad later. If you just can’t throw caution to the wind, replace the pork bacon with turkey bacon.
Note to bacon lovers: Have you ever tried Neuske’s bacon? The applewood-smoked meat from Wisconsin is worth seeking out. To quote the late R.W. Apple, Jr. from the New York Times, “I don’t want to go whole hog here, but Nueske’s struck me as the beluga of bacon, the Rolls-Royce of rashers.”
The online Neuskes retailer is offering one pound free bacon with orders placed by May 8. And how do I know this? Because my Wisconsin-born bacon-loving father always seems to remind me in case I need a gift for him.
Use promo code PC13474.
For now, grab an onion and bunch of kale and get cooking. It’s the perfect pasta for a quick Thursday night supper.
Campanelle Pasta with Kale and Bacon
1 pound campanelle pasta
1 pound smoked bacon, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, chopped (about 2-1/2 cups)
4 cups kale, chopped (remove the thick center ribs from leaves before chopping)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions and drain.
2. While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon over medium heat in a large saute pan until slightly crispy, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Reserve 1/3 of the bacon fat in the pan and discard the rest. Saute the onion in the fat over medium heat for 8 minutes or until softened and the edges turn brown.
4. Add the kale and saute another 4 to 6 minutes or until tender.
5. Next stir in the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
6. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and stir until thoroughly combined and slightly thickened. Simmer for several minutes.
7. If the saute pan is big enough, add the pasta and cooked bacon to the kale mixture and toss to combine over medium-high heat for a minute or two. If a bigger pan is needed, mix in the pasta pot.
8. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and toss one or two more times. Serve hot.