But I’m Not a Housewife!

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Archive for Pasta

Recipe: Whole Wheat Linguine With Leeks, Kale, and Gruyere

My husband and I don’t exactly need incentives to eat kale (one of the world’s healthiest foods). We eat it at least once a week, often more. But I do need incentives to cook, and as you know, my husband has gotten me interested in The New York Times Dining & Wine and Fitness & Nutrition recipes. So yesterday, when he texted that he had to work late, but still hoped to work-out, and hinted that we should eat “pasta & kale,” I knew he was referring to the Times recipe that he had pointed out to me last week.

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I wanted my photo to look more like the above newspaper photo, but my husband commandeered the spoon and stirred it up (thus melting all the little cheese cubes) before I could grab my camera. But anyway, here is our version of the Buckwheat Pasta With Kale from The New York Times Recipes for Health. It is simple – whole wheat pasta with kale, leeks, fresh sage, and gruyere and it was really, really good. 

Whole Grain Pasta With KaleThe actual Italian buckwheat pasta is really hard to find, so I chose this imported, organic, wheat pasta:

Luigi Vitelli Pasta

The recipe suggested substituting soba noodles or whole wheat fettuccine noodles, but I decided that this Italian whole wheat linguine would be less mushy and wheaty. Ooh, it was a good choice. I found them at our favorite grocery, Sunflower Farmer’s Market.

Finally, here is the recipe from The New York Times:

Buckwheat Pasta With Kale

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or omit butter and use 2 tablespoons olive oil)

2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced and cleaned

4 fresh sage leaves, cut in thin slivers

Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste

3/4 pound kale, stemmed, washed thoroughly, and cut crosswise in strips

Freshly ground pepper

2 ounces Parmesan, grated (1/2 cup)

2 ounces fontina or Gruyère cheese, cut in 1/4 inch dice

3/4 pound buckwheat pasta (pizzoccheri or soba) or whole wheat fettuccine

1. Begin heating a large pot of water. Meanwhile, heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and sage, and cook, stirring often, until the leeks begin to soften, about three minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the leeks are tender, about five minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. When the water comes to a boil, add a generous spoonful of salt and the kale. Boil for four minutes, until tender but still bright. Using a slotted spoon or a skimmer, transfer to the pan with the leeks and stir together. Keep warm over low heat.

3. Bring the water back to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook al dente (soba will cook quickly, usually in under five minutes, while pizzoccheri and whole wheat fettuccine will take longer). When the pasta is al dente, add 1/2 cup of the cooking water to the pan with the kale and leeks, then drain the pasta and toss in the pan or in a warm pasta bowl with the leeks, kale and the cheeses. Serve at once.

Yield: Serves four to six

Advance preparation: You can make the dish through step 2 several hours ahead. Remove from the heat, then reheat when you cook the pasta.

Still not sure what kale is all about? Our favorite variety of Kale is Lacinato, or Dinosaur, Kale. You can read more about it at these sites:

The Herb Companion and Renee’s Garden.

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My Husband Cooks: The Deconstructed Pesto!

I’ve been meaning to post pics of Tim’s Deconstructed Pesto for weeks. When counting my blessings, I note how lucky I am to have a husband who does half of the cooking. One of my favorite of his creations is his Deconstructed Pesto:

The Deconstructed Pesto

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • tagliatelle, fettuccini, or linguini 
  • cherry tomatos, halved
  • pine nuts, toasted
  • six heads of garlic, roasted*
  • fresh basil, roughly chopped 
  • freshly grated asiago or parmesan cheese
  • freshly cracked pepper

Method

1. Cut off tops of garlic heads and roast them in the oven for 45 mins to an hour. Squeeze out the roasted cloves and keep them whole.

2. Saute the garlic in olive oil for a minute then add chopped tomatoes and chopped basil. The oil will infuse with garlic flavor and the tomatoes will release enough juice to caramelize into a sauce for the noodles. Add salt, pepper, and a bit of grated cheese as desired.

3. Meanwhile cook the noodles in boiling, salted water and toast the pine nuts in a small pan on medium to low heat (don’t let them burn!).

4. When you are happy with the consistency of the sauce, toss in the cooked noodles and toasted pine nuts. 

5. Serve when mixed thoroughly, topped with shredded cheese and cracked pepper.

Eat this with a tossed salad and garlic bread as you wish. Perfect for a night when you want a cozy restaurant meal at home!

*My husband insists that the roasted garlic is the whole point of the dish. You could certainly do with fewer heads of garlic, you could also just mince some garlic and saute it in the olive oil and forget the whole roasting thing. The choice is yours.