29 May 2008

Beans, Greens and the Fourth

Kale is one of my favorites. I can't quite explain my obsession with it, but I think it has something to do with my dad. My dad didn't cook when I was growing up, but when he did, it was awesome. Of course, my mom was a much better cook, yet for some reason I remember a dish he made with kale pretty recently that has stuck with me. In fact, I think he's responsible for my obsession with kale and Italian food. Blame him for any or all of the butter that ends up in my recipes.

My own recipe is derived from a number of sources, one of those recipes that you can't quite attribute to one source but you can't say is your own. My dad made a side dish with kale, cannellini beans and day-old bread (and the requisite ton o'garlic) that blew me away, but I needed a dish that would serve as the top dog. Here's my recipe for beans and greens:

Beans and Green Pasta

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced (feel free to use much less than this of course)

1 bunch of kale, chopped into long pieces

4 tsp. chopped sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil and drained

6 links precooked sun dried tomato chicken sausage

Salt and pepper

12 oz. farfalle or fusilli pasta (feel free to sub but shorter pastas work best with this dish)

Grated Romano cheese


Heat oil in skillet and add onion and garlic. Cook until translucent and fragrant. Add kale in handfuls, stirring to coat kale in olive oil mixture. When kale begins to wilt (about three minutes), add chicken sausage and sundried tomatoes. Once the dish is cooked all the way through, add a little pepper (or salt if you need it..I don't add salt to my food usually) and add pasta, cooked according to package directions. Serve immediately with grated romano cheese.


Melissa said...

So glad to hear you love kale! I am also obsessed with it and use it whenever possible. One of the saddest things I've ever heard my Grandma Gasparotto say is that she tried it and hated it. I made her promise to let me make some for her, as I am convinced that she just prepared it wrong. Her entire generation thought that boiling vegetables into an unidentifiable mass was the way to go.

Speaking of greens--I recently tried tatsoi for the first time and was wowed. It's almost buttery. So delicious.

Dr. Food said...

Yeah, I like to substitute kale in any dish that calls for spinach--the texture is incomparable, and it adds depth to creamy cannellini beans. I've never eaten tatsoi, but I really want to sometime. I've seen it a few times and it looks kind of like the hens and chicks plant I grow in my garden. If only I could eat that! I wonder if I could get my hands on tatsoi over here in the Palouse. I'll keep you posted!