Kale & Roasted Walnut Pasta has become my go-to dinner for any work-week night. It's healthy, satisfying, delicious and easy to make. Not to mention, it includes several super foods that do a body good. There are quite a few varieties of Kale, but I tend to use a variety of black kale, Laciniato, every time. When buying Organic Kale, look for a rich green color with no wilting, brown spots or yellow leaves. Make sure to wash it well and slice into 1/4'' ribbons. I find if it isn't sliced thin the Kale is tough to chew and doesn't look very appetizing. The type of pasta you use can also make a difference. I like to use the Sprouted Wheat pasta from Trader Joe's. Quinoa or Brown Rice are also solid substitutions if you don't eat pasta or live life gluten free. You could also substitute the Kale with Broccollini or Rabini. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Rustic Kale & Roasted Walnut Pasta
About 8 oz Whole Wheat Pasta (I love Trader Joe's Sprouted Wheat Pasta as it adds to the rustic feel of the dish, but really any pasta of your choice will work)
3 Tbsp. Walnut Oil (Olive Oil is great as well)
4 cloves garlic
2 Cups of Ribbon Sliced Kale
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
Sea Salt to taste
1 C Roasted Walnuts
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese ( I prefer to grate my own )
Boil the pasta in a large pot until Al Dente.
While the pasta is cooking, chop the garlic and Kale. In a braising pan, on medium heat, heat the Walnut Oil and Garlic for about a minute then add the Kale, 1 tbsp Lemon Juice & salt to taste (about 2 pinches). Let them cook together for about 5 minutes until the kale becomes a vibrant green (lemon juice also helps create this color). Turn off the heat.
Drain the cooked pasta, reserving a 1/4 Cup of pasta water, and toss pasta with the kale and garlic in the braising pan. Transfer this 1/4 Cup of pasta water to the Kale and pasta mixture, let them harmonize for a couple of minutes. Next, pour in the Cup of Roasted Walnuts. Put Kale dish in a large serving bowl and toss in the 1/4 Cup of Parmesan Cheese. If you have any leftover roasted walnuts, you can chop these up and top off the dish. Depending on my mood I may add more or less cheese; it's up to you and your preferences.
Serves about 4... or in my situation, covers lunch & dinner for the next day.