Lemon and Kale Spaghetti
I was recently reading the latest edition of Bon Appétit, (otherwise known as a food lovers Bible). I flip through their magazine each month looking for recipe inspiration as well as different ways to photograph food and style food. I stumbled upon their idea of back pocket pasta, this idea that pasta can be paired with so much more than your typical tomato sauce. You can pair it with just about any cheese, vegetable and/or meat. Most importantly it is a great way to eat through what it is in your fridge. This lemon and kale spaghetti is the perfect example of back pocket pasta and I bet you have most of the ingredients in your refrigerator right now.
I think there is a misconception that pasta has to always be topped with a tomato sauce. Sure I love a good spicy marinara sauce but pasta can be a vehicle for so much more goodness. In this pasta dish I paired spaghetti pasta with wilted kale, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and tossed it in a sauce made of butter, olive oil lemon zest and lemon juice. Easy every day ingredients that become delicious when paired together.
Feel free to add your choice of meat to this dish. I served it as Sunday night dinner recently and topped it with Dungeness crab (because it is crab season here in the Bay Area). It was fantastic but I bet shrimp or pulled chicken would be just as tasty.
Lemon and Kale Spaghetti
1 lb spaghetti pasta (gluten free pasta works as well)
5 tbs. olive oil, separated
1 bunch kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
½ cup lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
4 tbs. butter
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup breadcrumbs (gluten free breadcrumbs work as well)
red pepper flakes
Cook spaghetti according to package instruction. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before straining. Set cooked pasta and reserved water aside.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add the kale and a pinch of salt and cook until wilted. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and minced garlic. Cook for about 20 seconds, or until garlic is cooked. Add lemon juice and lemon zest cook for about 30 seconds. Add in butter and cook until butter is melted. Add cooked pasta and toss well, adding reserved pasta water as needed to create a sauce. Add cheese, breadcrumbs, wilted kale, remaining olive oil, pinch of red pepper flakes and a large pinch of salt. Serve as is or with choice of meat.
Taste for salt and serve immediately.