Kale seems to be quite the trendy ingredient these days. It has made its way into just about everything you can imagine, from salads to soups, and even chips! I don’t expect the love of kale to die down anytime soon, it’s just too darn good (and good for you) for that to happen. It’s a wonderful green to have in your fridge because it’s healthy, hearty, and delicious.
One of the reasons why I love Kale so much is that it has a lot more substance than greens like spinach, but it still has a nice mild flavor. Usually hearty greens like collard, mustard, and dandelion can have a stronger flavor, so you have to think a little more about you are going to pair them with. Kale is a great middle of the road green because you can pair it with just about anything and it stands up well to cooking.
There are many ways to enjoy kale, but one of my favorites is to simply sauté it with garlic and some red pepper flakes. The possibilities are endless with this versatile green! I love pairing it with mushrooms and green beans for a side dish, which also double as a base for pasta dish. It’s also great with white beans and sausage as a base for soup.
Today, I’m sharing with you my new favorite way to eat kale – spaghetti with kale and lemon. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned my love for lemon, but if I haven’t you will get sick of hearing about it throughout spring and summer. Lemon desserts, lemon sauces, a squeeze of lemon over pretty much anything – I love it all!
Anyway, this pasta is definitely going to be my new go-to meal when I’m in a pinch, or want something super fast. It’s just so good! Sautéed kale, tossed with whole-grain pasta, a tangy lemon dressing and nutty Parmesan cheese…. my mouth is watering as we speak.
If you’ve never tried kale, I highly recommend you jump on the bandwagon. The mild flavor takes on whatever you pair it with, and it maintains some crunch so it doesn’t just wither away when you cook it. My spaghetti with kale and lemon is the perfect dish to get acquainted with the delicious green. Try it – you won’t be sorry! It just might become your new go-to dinner like it has for me!
Spaghetti with Kale and Lemon
Hearty whole-grain spaghetti is tossed with kale and a bright lemon sauce. Easy and delicious, this pasta dish will become a regular in your meal rotation.
Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 5 Min. | Cook Time: 15 Min.
1 lb. Whole-Grain Spaghetti
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
2 Lemons, juiced
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1-2 Bunches Kale, washed and trimmed from tough stems and thinly sliced
Red Pepper Flakes, optional
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, plus more for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt and add the pasta. Cook 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whisk together ½ cup of olive oil and the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil (about 1 tablespoon). Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the thinly sliced kale and sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat until just wilted; season with salt and pepper and add in a pinch or two of red pepper flakes, if desired.
Add the drained pasta to the pan with the kale and toss. Turn the heat off, add in the sauce and Parmesan cheese, and toss well to combine. If the pasta seems dry, add pasta water a little at a time until it’s moistened. Serve pasta with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
- I use 1 bunch of kale for this and find it to be enough. This kale, for me, is just an add in. I consider this to be about the pasta. However, use 2 bunches if you’d like more kale!
- One of the best tricks to making great pasta dishes is to save some of the starchy pasta water. It helps moisten up dry sauces, it can help create a sauce, and it adds a little flavor boost.
- Feel free to toss in some shredded chicken if you want to add some protein. I have no problem eating this meal on it’s own, but you can serve it up with meat, a salad, or some veggies.