You know, to be healthy.
Actually, this IS a really healthy pasta. It's also super quick to make so we all win in that department. Whole wheat pasta with kale and white wine topped with buttery burst tomatoes that are about to be SO EPICALLY DELICIOUS but for now regular ones from the store are fine. Definitely the way to do pasta.
If you play your cards right, this can be done in 40 minutes or so. You need pasta and kale, duh. You also need white wine, cherry tomatoes, garlic, butter, anchovy paste, parsley, and crushed red pepper. If you don't cook with anchovy paste you should! It doesn't taste fishy, just nice and earthy and salty. It's what makes Caesar dressing taste like Caesar dressing. Buy a tube! Learn to use it! If you can't imagine the thought of life with a tube of pureed concentrated fish in your fridge, skip it and add a little bit more salt. You'll be fine.
First, start some water to boil for the pasta. Then, add the tomatoes with a drizzle of oil to a skillet with a lid. Cover the tomatoes and turn the heat to medium high. The tomatoes will steam and get all saucy and sexy while you make the rest of the dish.
By now the pasta water should be boiling, so boil the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Right before you drain the pasta, use a mug to scoop out some of the cooking water and save it for when we make our sauce.
After 3 minutes when the kale has wilted just slightly, add the pasta back to the pot and toss it with the kale mixture. Splash in the cooking water just a bit at a time to have enough liquid to coat the pasta. Taste, and add more salt or crushed red pepper if you think it needs it.
Totally perfect hump day food. Enjoy!
Kale Pasta with Burst Tomato Sauce
- 10 ounces whole wheat spaghetti or other long cut pasta
- 6 cups washed torn kale
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper plus more to taste
- ½ cup roughly chopped parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- salt optional, to taste
- parmesan cheese optional, for serving
- Cook the pasta to package directions. Right before draining, reserve one cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- In the same pot, add a drizzle of olive oil, the crushed red pepper, and the anchovy paste. Turn the heat to medium-high. When the anchovy paste sizzles and melts into the oil, add half the garlic, the kale, and parsley to the pot, then pour in the wine. Toss the kale around for 4-6 minutes until wilted and the garlic is fragrant, then add the pasta back to the pot and toss everything together. Add the reserved cooking water a bit at a time to coat the pasta. Taste, and add salt if needed to your taste, or more crushed red pepper if you'd like.
- For the burst tomato sauce (I start this when the pasta water is boiling) add all the tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil to a skillet with a tight fitting lid. Cover the tomatoes and turn the heat to medium-high. Let the tomatoes steam and burst for about 15 minutes until a sauce has formed. Add 2 of the minced garlic cloves, the butter, and a sprinkle of salt. Cook for 2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant, then taste and add more salt if needed.
- Serve the pasta topped with the tomatoes and cheese, if desired.