While perusing a stack of this months magazines, I happened upon a recipe in the newest issue of Bon Appetit. After tossing out the anchovies called for (can’t say we missed them….) it was a simple and rustic vegetarian pasta dish.
Orecchiette with Kale and Toasted Breadcrumbs
- 2 bunches Kale
- 7 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (2 slices bread, see below)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 lb. orecchiette pasta
- ¾ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
Strip kale off the center thick stem, discard stem and wash leaves, set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium, add in 3 Tablespoons oil. Add bread crumbs, cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 1/3 of the garlic, stir in and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring. Spread on a paper towel lined plate. Wipe out skillet. reserving.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add in kale, push down, return to boil and cook for 4 minutes. Use tongs or a pasta grabber to remove kale, drain in a colander. Let cool enough to handle, squeeze out water and chop finely. Bring water back to boil, add pasta and cook for time on package. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, return skillet to heat, add in remaining oil, red pepper flakes and garlic, sauté for a minute or two, until golden. Add chopped kale and broth, cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in hot pasta and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, tossing to coat. Add in cheese and the remaining water, tossing to coat. Toss with ½ cup of the reserved breadcrumbs.
Serve with remaining breadcrumbs dusted on top, with a sprinkle of extra cheese, if desired.