Kale and olive aglio e olio ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

17 September 2012

Kale and olive aglio e olio

kale and olive pasta aglio e olio

Lately, even though it's still mostly summer here in CA, my brain has been making a beeline for the fall produce. This time, I had a big bunch of excellent sturdy kale hanging out in the crisper. Why not make it the centerpiece of a fast and easy pasta?

In a standard aglio e olio, pasta gets drenched in a beautiful spicy garlicky olive oil and garnished with grated parmesan. I took this a step or two further, adding green olives and slivered red pepper along with my kale. The result was a perfect quick lunch--full of hearty greens and pungent with olives and garlic.

Kale and olive aglio e olio

olive oil
lots o' kale
red pepper
salt, pepper
pasta of your choice
parmesan/etc for garnish

First, get out a wide saute pan and warm several good glugs of olive oil over medium heat. Since the oil will be your sauce base, use a little more oil than you'd normally add to a marinara.

At the same time, heat your pasta water. I bring mine to a boil, covered, turn off the heat, and leave the hot pot on the back burner until it's time to cook the pasta. That way, when you turn the heat back on, the pot will come back to a boil almost instantly. Cooking tricks for the win!

So. Smash, peel, and mince several cloves of garlic, and add them to the warmed olive oil. Adjust the heat down a touch, so the garlic sizzles gently and slowly in the oil. This will infuse the oil with delicious garlic flavor.

After giving the garlic and oil about five minutes to infuse, grab a handful of olives, chop them up, and add them to your pan. I used standard small green olives stuffed with pimiento from the big martini-making jar in our fridge door. However, you can use whatever kind of olives you like. I think black nicoise olives would be really good with the kale, for instance.

Let your olives and garlic cook slowly in the olive oil while you wash, destem, and roughly chop your kale. I used about 2/3 of a bunch for just me, but more greens are always better. GREENS!

Add your kale to the pan along with a sprinkle of salt. Turn up the heat a bit, stir, and cook for about five minutes. This is also a good time to start boiling any kind of chunky or thick pasta you may be using.

Core and slice a red (or orange, or yellow) pepper. When your kale is tender, add your chopped pepper to the pan. Stir and cook for another two to three minutes, or until your peppers are cooked through. Season the pan to taste.

When your pasta is done, drain it and add it to the pan of vegetables. Toss everything together and let it sit over the lowest heat for a minute while you wash the pasta pan. This will let the oil absorb into the pasta a bit.

Serve, adding grated parmesan if you so desire.

Now eat your lunch in good health and good conscience.

What are some of your favorite fall lunches?


Caz said...

This is just my kind of food and perfect for the changing season. Kale is the best! Beautiful colours in that bowl of pasta.

Michelle said...

Yum. I made something similar last night for dinner, swapping anchovies for kale. Kale would have been so good, though!

Soup will probably be a staple of fall lunches around here. Quick and easy.

Stephanie said...

This looks great. I don't add kale to pasta as much as I should. I tend to go for baby spinach. Thanks for the reminder. Kale seems right for fall!

Stacy G. said...

I'm always chasing the heels of the next season, and right now I can't stop thinking kale and butternut squash. This looks perfect!

Monet said...

I need to add more kale to my pasta. Tasty and nutritious. Thank you for sharing, my friend, and for making my day a bit more happy and delicious. I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Jes said...

This looks like a perfect quick & amazing lunch/dinner--love all the colors & that punch of brine from the olives--bet it's perfect!

Andrea said...

Oh yes, kale. I love fall produce. And pasta. This looks super yummy.

Aylin @ Glowkitchen said...

Love how simple this recipe is. I wish I had a steady supply of kale in Istanbul, but I'm going to make this anyway with spinach!

Marta@What Should I eat For Breakfast Today said...

I like good meals easy to prepare :) and pasta is always good :)

Vanessa said...

Fall is pretty much the only time I really enjoy dinner leftovers for lunch. Things like squash soup and lentil stew are better the next day. This recipe looks lovely!

Anonymous said...

This sounds awesome and I love that you can eat this hot or cold!

Eileen said...

So glad you guys like it! And I say an absolute yes to soup for fall lunches--or really any fall meal. Maybe a squash soup with crispy pan-friend kale? My past three meals in a row have been soups or stews!

Catherine said...

SOUP. Always. Add some good bread, too.