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.