Groundhogs don’t seem to like curly kale. Or at least my groundhog doesn’t. When it ate every other green in my garden, it left the curly kale. We not have the electric fence protecting the other greens, but the kale has been growing all along.
I had some mushrooms in the fridge (a local food here in Delaware) and some red wine on the counter, so I decided to add an earthy note to the kale-tomato sauce.
All it needed was some fun pasta and a sprinkling of cheese. A happy dinner that even the 7 year old devoured (yes, he even ate the kale).
Orecchiette with Tomato Sauce with Kale and Mushrooms
Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s Orecchiette with Tomato Sauce and Kale
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes(optional)
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes with juice, pulsed a few times in a food processor or mini processor
1 cup mushrooms, sliced and each slice cut in half (locally grown)
1/4 cup robust red wine
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp dried basil (from the garden)
½ pound curly kale, stemmed (from the garden)
1 lb orecchiette
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. As soon as the garlic begins to smell fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute), add the tomatoes, mushrooms, wine, sugar, salt and basil. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is thick and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust seasoning.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add the kale. Blanch 2 to 4 minutes, until tender but still bright green. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the kale to a bowl of cold water. Do not drain the pot of water.
Drain the kale and squeeze out excess water and chop medium-fine.
Stir the kale into the tomato sauce.
Bring the pot of water back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente, according to the cooking directions on the package. Drain and toss with the tomato and kale mixture .
Serve topped with grated parmesan.
Serves 4 – 6.