Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Penne with kale and walnuts

When I was at the farmer's market looking for inspiration to get me out of my cooking rut, this beautiful bunch of purple kale caught my eye.
I started thinking about what I make with this kale, and pasta was the first thing that came to mind. I started with about a pound of shallots, which I sliced thinly and caramelized in some olive oil. Once the shallots were a deep golden brown, I threw in the kale, which I had torn into small pieces. Meanwhile, I brought some salted water to a boil and cooked the penne. I tend to use whole wheat pasta because of the health factor. As the penne cooked, I sauteed the kale with the shallots until it was wilted. After the pasta was done, I put it into the pan with the kale and added some of the pasta cooking water to loosen up the mixture. I added a drizzle of toasted walnut oil, salt, pepper, toasted walnuts and shavings of ricotta salata.

I really loved this dish - it was a great blend of flavors and textures. If you've never tried toasted walnut oil before, it's definitely worth seeking out.

36 comments:

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Oh my. That does look good. I have kale in my garden. Perhaps tomorrow.
And darn it. I bought endive several days ago to make the endive and proscuitto you made the other week and I forgot all about it.

Reeni♥ said...

What a delicious bunch of flavors. Looks amazing!

Natashya said...

I do love kale, so good for you too. And pasta, my favourite!

Elra said...

That kale has truly beautiful color Sara!
Oh I'm so addicted to walnut oil, it's pretty expensive, I got it from Santa Ynez Valley and pay $25 for 8oz bottle. I know it ridiculous, but it delicious, and worth it.

Marilyn said...

What beautiful kale. And that was such a lovely dish that you made, too.

Nina's Culinary Creations said...

Thank you Sara. Puff pastry is so
easy to work with, from appetizers to deserts.
XO, Nina

Selba said...

I'm not familiat with kale. Not so sure whether I can find it here in Indonesia. Interesting though... :)

Jan said...

Kale is a staple in Oklahoma, but I have never seen one that looks that good. Your recipe sounds lovely.

Sara said...

Rosie - Let me know how your endive turns out!

Elra - Walnut oil can be pricey. I actually bought a bottle at Williams Sonoma right after the holidays for 50% off!

5 Star Foodie said...

I love your pasta creation! What a great combination of ingreditents!

Marissa said...

What a great combo of flavors!

Barbara Bakes said...

Wow that Kale is gorgeous! What a wonderful healthy meal!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a scrumptious pasta dish! A wonderful combination of flavors!

Cheers,

Rosa

Pam said...

I really like the combination of flavors. A tasty and healthy dish.

Culinarywannabe said...

I actually have a whole bottle of walnut oil in the pantry that I had bought a while ago to make salad dressing with, and have been picking my brain for what else it could be used in. Thanks for the inspiration!

Katherine Aucoin said...

The rustic looks of this dish is fantastic. Wonderful combination of flavors.

Cathy said...

I haven't bought walnut oil in ages. Thanks for the reminder of how good it is and how much it adds to a dish.

Peggy said...

you are one very creative chick. I LOVE LOVE your blog! I would never look at kale and wonder what I could make with it and come up with pasta. I need to branch out with my food thoughts, huh? It looks delicious. Plus I love penne with almost anything!

Maria said...

The kale is so pretty! I love the color! The pasta dish looks wonderful!

Bridgett said...

Oh wow, this dish is just bursting with healthy and delicious flavors. I love it!

Karen said...

I love kale and the purple variety is so beautiful. Good call on turning it over with pasta!

Joie de vivre said...

Beautiful! It looks really hearty with all of those different textures going on.

Kevin said...

I have been enjoying kale though I have not had a purple kale. I will have to look for some. The pasta with kale sounds great!

Helene said...

I never cooked with kale, I should start because this looks so good.

Dragon said...

I've never see purple kale. Awesome!

Priscilla said...

Although i've never heard of kale, this dish looks yummy! That color of the kale is pretty!

Donna-FFW said...

Sara- This looks awesome. I love your site and your ideas. And kale so healthy for you. Beautiful colorful photos!!

SriLekha said...

interesting and looks too good!

alexandra's kitchen said...

oh my gosh that combination sounds incredibly delicious. i love kale. i love pasta. i love walnuts. i love cheese. i love the idea of using walnut oil, too. i bet that adds a nice flavor.

The Blonde Duck said...

I had a science project in the 3rd grade where I tested different fertilizers on kale. To this day, I can't eat them.

we are never full said...

that kale...

it's a thing of beauty! kale in any form is so underrated. it's cheap, super healthy, hearty and delicious.

Annie said...

That looks so yummy...
I love the addition of the walnuts and cheese. I have never tried ricotta salada before, but I think I would like it.

Yasmeen said...

Wholesome pasta Sara,good to know you are eating super healthy:)

Dee said...

I'm embarassed to say I'm not sure what Kale is. There's probably a local Malaysian name it goes by; wish I knew what that was.

Erin said...

Wow.. This looks yummy. I love all the colorful veggies on your site! I am a firm believer in eating the rainbow!

Teri said...

What a beautiful presentation it makes. It sounds wonderful!