What to do with hearty garden greens? Make pasta! Now that the weather is cooler, kale and chard and beet greens and turnip greens are enjoying a growth spurt. Luckily, they’re so versatile that you can use them in everything from soups to stir-frys. For this dish, I opted to combine kale with pasta, two kinds of cheeses, tomatoes, and broccoli. Note that if you have broccoli in your garden, you could toss in the broccoli leaves, too. The trick is to cut the greens/leaves into thin slices (often called a chiffonade) so that they’ll be tender after just a few minutes of simmering.
And aside from being delicious and quick, this dish also only requires one pot. Doesn’t get any easier than that! Think of it as a simple and colorful penne alfredo.
Penne Alfredo with Kale & Broccoli
8 oz. whole-grain penne (I used corn penne, but brown rice or any other whole-grain penne would work; just be sure to use gluten-free penne if you’re making a gluten-free dish)
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
About 8 large kale leaves, stacked and then cut into thin strips
At least 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
About 1/2 cup grated tetilla, Mahón, or other soft-but-grate-able Spanish cow’s-milk cheese (or Monterey Jack cheese)
Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
Get pasta boiling in a large pot of water. When the penne is 3 minutes away from being done (check the package instructions to see how long you’ll need to cook the penne), stir in the broccoli and kale. Drain well. While still piping hot, stir in cheeses and tomatoes.
Serve immediately. If you like, garnish with a sprinkling of sweet paprika; if you’re even more adventurous, sprinkle on a few flakes of crushed red pepper.
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