Okay so it has been a few weeks too long since my last blog post. Things have been a whirlwind over here! We’ve had birthdays, graduations, oh and the most AH-MAZ-ING wedding for my brother-in-law, Gary, and his super cool wife, Alyssa, in New Jersey. How has it already been a week since I sobbed reading 1 Corinthians 13 at your ceremony? #inevercry #comebackfromhawaii #imissyoualyssa
So I actually made this recipe a few weeks ago but never got around to blogging. With all the big things happening, I haven’t put in a full work week in a few weeks and short weeks are usually the worst weeks … everything get crammed from 5 days down to 3 or 4 which means no blogging time! That said, I’m taking off tomorrow (enjoy Monday everyone!), so I’ll try to get this blog post wrapped up and posted for your dining pleasure.
Here’s what I used:
- [Good] Olive Oil
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- 1 Bunch of Kale
- 4-5 Cloves of Garlic
- Crushed Red Pepper
- ¼ – ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
- ¼ Cup Pine Nuts
- Lemon Olive Oil (optional)
First, de-vein the kale and soak the leaves in water for 10-15 minutes. Kale is dirty AF so soaking helps to pull all of the dirt out of the leaves. We picked up some red curly kale at the local farmer’s market but any type of kale or spinach would work.
While the kale is soaking, start toasting the pine nuts in a dry skillet. You’ll want roughly ¼ cup or a good handful for those of you that don’t like measuring (right, Mom?). It will take about 15 minutes or so to toast up the pine nuts on medium heat. Be sure to keep an eye on the pine nuts though because once they start to brown, they burn very easily. #speakingfromexperience
Once toasted, set aside for finishing the dish.
Start boiling your spaghetti in a separate pot … don’t forget to salt the water. Oh, and don’t forget to use a big enough pot. SMH. You’d think I never made spaghetti before … sigh.
Peel and chop 4-5 cloves of garlic. But really … use how every much garlic you want!
In a sauté pan, heat [good] olive oil and add the garlic. Cook on medium heat until the garlic begins to brown. It’s worth noting, you don’t need to spend a fortune on good olive oil. Trader Joe’s has an awesome selection of basic olive oils that won’t break the bank.
By the time the garlic starts to brown …
… the spaghetti should be almost done cooking. With about 10-20 seconds left to cook the spaghetti, add the kale to the pot to flash cook it. Then remove the spaghetti from the heat and drain.
Next time I make this, I’d probably use more kale because it wilts down a lot. If you are not a kale enthusiast, then stick to one bunch.
Save about 1 cup of the spaghetti water for later; it will help the sauce bind to the spaghetti due to the starch left in the water.
Add the spaghetti and kale mixture to the pot with the olive oil and garlic. Add about ¼ cup of parmesan cheese or more to taste because let’s be serious … cheese is great. You should add more. #cheeseaholic
Add the spaghetti water and toss lightly. This will create a nice light sauce on the spaghetti.
Before we finish this dish, I wanted to highlight this amazing lemon olive oil that we found at Eataly. If you’ve never been to Eataly, you are missing out. It’s foodie paradise. We went to the NYC Flatiron location and brought two bags of groceries back to VA … on the train. Whoops! That’s dedication. #notsorry
Okay so to finish this dish, top the spaghetti and kale mixture with a dollop of ricotta, a drizzle of lemon olive oil (more than a drizzle is okay too), toasted pine nuts, and red pepper flakes. No lemon olive oil? Try a squeeze of fresh lemon to brighten the flavor. Now go eat immediately. Then get seconds.