I woke up this morning to an email from my mother sharing some kale recipes that were printed in the New York Times. I was immediately intrigued by the stir fry recipe and the Orecchiette with tomato sauce. Since I usually make dinner for MM and Frenchie on Sunday, I decided I would try out the Orecchiette recipe on them – and it was a big hit! I added SF-Grill’s ground sweet Italian turkey sausage to the dish because the boys like meat, but otherwise I followed the recipe pretty closely.
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt to taste
- pinch of sugar
- a few basil leaves
- 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (Italian style)
- 4 oz ground lean meat (turkey or chicken)
- 1 bunch of kale
- 12 oz Orecchiette
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and basil and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. Heat a smaller skillet and add the ground meat, cooking until it starts to brown (about 5 minutes). Once cooked, add the meat to the tomato sauce and cook for another 5 minutes to blend flavors.
Meanwhile boil a medium pot of water. Once water is boiled, add the kale and blanche for 2-4 minutes. Remove from the pot with a straining spoon and put into a bowl of cold water. Do not drain the boiled water. Remove the kale from the bowl of cold water and squeeze out excess water. Chop into medium fine pieces and add to the sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring the pot of water back to a boil and add the Orecchiette. Cook for about 10-12 minutes for an al dente pasta. Drain and add to the sauce, stirring to combine. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and plate.
We had this meal with some leftover 2008 22 Black Cabernet Sauvignon. It tasted good with the spice in the sausage and the acidity in the tomatoes, but I think this would have been better with a Malbec or a Merlot-heavy red blend. I loved the texture of this pasta with the al dente Orecchiette and crunchy kale. My taste buds are a little shot right now because I’m under the weather, but I’ll take the signs of praise from MM and Frenchie to affirm that it was an excellent dish.
Tomorrow night, I’ll try the stir fry.