Monday, July 19, 2010

Linguini Fini with Kale and Mascarpone

I imagined this summer to be the ultimate time to relax with a ton of time to do serious cooking.  Instead I have been running around in a frenzy, tying up loose ends at school, attempting to tackle my food-centric things-to-do-in-Chicago-before-I-leave list, spending time with friends, and occasionally thinking about packing and moving. And of course planning my upcoming Europe trip!

One evening I found myself actually home for dinner, so I threw together a dish that turned out pretty delicious. I had a bunch of kale and mascarpone in the fridge, so I thought to myself, "If sautéed spinach in a light cream sauce tastes good over pasta, why wouldn't kale?"

Since kale is tougher than spinach, I boiled kale for a few minutes until it was tender. I tossed the kale with a light mascarpone sauce with sautéed garlic and shallot, added a sprinkle of nutmeg, and served it over spaghetti. It was quick and turned out great. To make the dish healthier, use whole wheat spaghetti.

I am looking for other ways to incorporate more kale into my diet. I will definitely make this pasta dish again. The spicy kale chips have become a regular snack in my house. The problem with the kale chips is that they disappear so quickly!

What is your favorite kale dish?

Linguini Fini with Kale and Marscapone
1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of kale, stems and thick ribs removed, leaves chopped coarsely
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1-2 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp mascarpone
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
kosher salt
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add kale and boil for four minutes, until tender but still bright. Using a slotted spoon, remove kale and drain. Set aside.

In the same pot, bring water to a boil again, add kosher salt, and cook pasta until just before al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and melt butter until foamy over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot, cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

Add boiled kale, stirring frequently. Stir in heavy cream and mascarpone. Season with nutmeg, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for a few minutes to heat thoroughly. Add pasta and stir to coat well. Add 2 tbsp of reserved pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce, if needed. Transfer to serving bowls and top off with parmigiano reggiano. Serve immediately.


  1. Kale is such an excellent source of calcium (which I need because my mom has osteoporosis) and I'm always trying to track down new recipes. This looks delicious!

  2. Kale is my new love so I'm always on the lookout for kale-centric recipes. This one has pasta so I'm definitely on board! :)


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