Montana Public Radio

Pasta With Kale Sauce: It's Easy Being Green

Oct 20, 2019

The Food Guys summarize Joshua McFadden's "superbly simple" 2018 recipe for pasta with kale sauce, which was inspired by a dish at London's River Cafe. Its vivid green color, from lacinato kale, makes it a converation piece.

Long-leaved, dark-green Tuscan or lacinato kale, with its deep, rich flavor, is the heart of this sauce. A pound of it will yield 8 ounces of leaves after you've removed the thick ribs.

Blanch these in boiling water for three minutes, till tender, then remove from the water and place directly into a blender along with 1/4 cup of olive oil, 3/4 cup of coarsely-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, two smashed, peeled cloves of garlic, salt and pepper. (Sautéeing the garlic in the olive oil before puréeing will help bring out its flavor.)

Purée all the ingredients, adding water as needed for the ideal sauce consistency.

For use as a main dish, use 3.5 to 4 ounces of pasta per person (2.5 to 3 ounces per person for a side dish).  Twisted or tube-shaped pasta like pappardelle, penne, rigatoni, or ziti will allow the sauce to coat the pasta better than linguini or spaghetti.

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 10/20/19. Listen weekly on the radio at 9:53 a.m. Sundays, or via podcast.)