On a quest to find cheap and healthy food, I ransacked the HEB and came away with a 98 cent bush of kale about 3 times the size of my head. It was a great find, but since leafy greens don’t do so well in my fridge, I knew I’d have to eat them fast. I did some experimenting, and this was one of my favorite recipes that came of it.
I sorted the prep vegetables according to how cooked I wanted them to be.
First, I sauteed the onion in olive oil, over medium heat until they started getting translucent. After that, I tossed in the rest, sauteing for a few minutes before adding the sauce. Together, I let it simmer on med-low for about 30 minutes (feel free to do it as long as you’re willing, just make sure it doesn’t dry out).
While that was going, I made bacon sprinkles. If you want to keep this recipe Vegan, skip that. It’s totally option and I did it on a whim, anyway, so not much will be lost if you skip it. Only bacon, which you don’t really care about anyway.
Bacon sprinkles are just tiny strips of bacon fried until they’re crispy. I’ve used them in a handful of dishes so far and I’ve found them to be a nice way to add a little bit of salty/crunchy to your food. Since they keep well, you can even cook up half a pack or so and just keep them in the fridge for whenever you need some on your pasta, fried rice, or grits.
As the pasta was nearing completion, I tossed the kale into the sauce. I waited till the end because I wanted it to still be crisp and fresh tasting. The diversity of texture alone is worth it, and if you’re down for an experiment, I recommend just adding some fresh. Also, if you’re a cheesy kind of person, I’d recommend a hard Spanish cheese for this. I tried it with some idiazabal and it worked really well.
Here’s my attempt at a printer friendly recipe card:
Bacon sprinkles and cheese (optional)
1 med white onion
1 red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic (I eat it in everything, you might not want as much)
24 oz pasta sauce
whatever spices you like in pasta sauce: salt/pepper/garlic/oregano/etc
3 giant kale leaves
1. Make bacon sprinkles. Drain and set aside.
1 if you don’t want meat. Chop veggies, keep onion separate.
2. Warm a sauce pot with olive oil to medium. Saute onions for about 5 minutes.
3. Add jalapeno, bell pepper, and garlic and saute for about a minute.
4. Add sauce and stir. Lower the temperature to med-low, but keep an eye on it just in case.
5. Start boiling pasta water (waiting to do it until now is a great way to time the sauce and also gives you time to clean up some if you don’t want to save it all till you’re done) and cook the pasta as per the recommended instructions.
6. With about a minute left on the pasta, add the kale to the sauce.
7. Everything’s all a flurry now! Strain the pasta! Add a little olive oil so it doesn’t stick! Stir the sauce some more!
8. Serve. Top with bacon sprinkles and/or delicious Spanish cheese, as you desire.