Penne Pasta with Braised Kale and Lemon Parmesan Sauce

I got my first weekly pickup at my CSA, Rosemattel’s. The first pickup included kale, chard, beet greens, french carrots, radishes, green onions, lettuce, broccoli — a treasure trove! I got a double dose of kale because I didn’t want the chives or fennel. What to do with kale? Meanwhile, my husband has been suggesting lemon pasta. I dug through my recipe pile and the internet for ideas and combined and modified a few of them to use what I already had in the kitchen and farm basket.

Pasta with Braised Kale and Lemon Parmesan Sauce

  • 1/2 pound dried pasta – mini penne is my preference
  • Salted water for boiling pasta
  • 1 large bunch of torn kale leaves, with stems and large veins removed
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or chicken broth (1/2 can if you have canned)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Fill large saucepan with water and add salt to boil pasta per package instructions.
  2. Wash kale, remove stem and large veins, tear into pieces approximately 1 inch long.
  3. Heat chicken broth in saute pan and add kale. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer kale while broth reduces.
  4. Zest one lemon into medium serving bowl.
  5. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into the medium serving bowl.
  6. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese to the serving bowl. Mix to allow the flavors to blend.
  7. When pasta is cooked, drain and add to the serving bowl.
  8. Drain any remaining liquid from the kale and add the braised kale to the serving bowl.
  9. Toss and serve.

This produces 4 or more servings of pasta when used as a side dish. We loved it, it was one of my biggest successes with pasta. The kale had no off earthy flavors, it was a pleasant green addition to the pasta.

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