Sunday, February 17, 2013

Orecchiette with Kale and Breadcrumbs

It's Hockey Day in America, and we're excited to be Hawks fans! 

They're super good, just like this wintertime pasta dish.  3 NHL games and 2 college (outdoor!) games on TV today, so while we're waiting for the 3rd period to start, you should pick a weeknight to cook up this healthy dish. 

Orecchiette with Kale and Breadcrumbs
4  servings

1 lb tuscan kale, trimmed of stems (2 large bunches)
1 C course fresh bread crumbs
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 TB unsalted butter
4 anchovy filets, drained of oil
1/4 ts chili (red pepper) flakes
1 lb orecchiette
1 C reserved cooking liquid
3/4 C freshly grated parmigiano reggiano 

Get some salted water boiling in a big ass stockpot.  Cook the kale in batches until tender, about 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally.  Remove to a sheet pan to cool slightly.  Shake off excess water and chop leaves, remove any large stems you didn't previously.

Cook the pasta in the same water according to directions, bout 8 minutes or so.  

Meanwhile, heat about 4 TB EVOO in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the breadcrumbs and cook until nicely toasty brown, 3-4 minutes, stirring often.  Add one of the sliced garlic cloves the last thirty seconds.  Season with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add the anchovy, chili flake and remaining 2 sliced garlic cloves.  Stir for a minute, mashing up the anchovy filets with a spoon.  Add the kale to the party, with a half cup of the cooking water, turn down the heat to low.   

When the orecchiette is al dente, add to the skillet with a half cup of parm and stir everything together.  Add more pasta water if needed, until pasta is coated with sauce.  Serve up and top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. 

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