Toasted pasta with kale, fennel, and tomatoes
Close to the end of high season, when kale, fennel, tomatoes, onions and garlic are plentiful, we enjoy taking an afternoon off from the mayhem to mindfully prepare a dish that makes grand use of the abundance. this suggestion has a few more steps, but worth the organization to layer the flavors and comes together rather quickly. We count it as a soulful respite from the fast pace.
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- 8 ounces thin spaghetti (yes, dry)
- 8 teaspoons good-tasting extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 12 ounces kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, fronds minced, bulb halved, cored, and sliced thin
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 large tomatoes, cored and chopped
- 3 plump cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 3 cups water
- one 15-ounce can garbanzos, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- choice of finish at table: garlic aioli or lemon wedges
- Put 2 teaspoons olive oil in a sauté pan with oven-proof handle.
- Break dry spaghetti into one-inch pieces and toss into the oil and stir to coat.
- Bring flame to medium-high and stir the pasta toasted. It will take about seven to ten minutes for them to become nutty golden.
- Transfer to a bowl to wait.
- Reduce heat to medium.
- Add remaining 6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons) oil to the pan you have just emptied.
- When it heats to a shimmer, add kale a bit at a time, then the fennel bulb and the onion.
- Reserve the minced fennel fronds for the last minute.
- Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt over all. Stir while cooking till the veg is softened, five to seven minutes.
- Squeeze the tomatoes by hand, reserving the juice in a cup.
- Add them to the pan and continue cooking and stirring an additional five minutes.
- When the mixture has dried out somewhat, add the paprika and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds till aromatic.
- Add the toasted pasta, water, garbanzos, wine, reserved tomato juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Increase flame to medium-high and stir-simmer till pasta is tender, about ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, move the oven rack to eight inches below broiler element and preheat the broiler. When the pasta is tender, transfer the pan to the rack under broiler.
- Broil for five minutes to crisp up the pasta with golden spots. You might need an additional minute or two after you check.
- Pull on oven gloves, and remove the pan from the oven.
- Sprinkle with fennel fronds to taste and let stand for five minutes to settle.
- Serve warm.
- Pass the aioli or lemon wedges at table.
- Cook’s tips and tricks: Finger-sprinkle salt on cooking preps from a height of about 18 inches. Your grains will disperse evenly, undisturbed.
- And don’t forget that if you own a sauté pan or skillet that has a removeable rubber handle sleeve, it will be oven proof when naked. Some long-handled pans tend to wobble a bit when lifted with one hand, so we pull on both gloves and stabilize the bowl of the pan with one hand, while grabbing the handle with the other.
Stonebridge Farm CSA http://stonebridgefarmcsa.com/