Castellane con spinaci e fagioli is what I would have called this recipe if a)I were a real Italian person (I somehow don’t feel I have the right to name this dish in Italian since I’m not), and b) I were actually using spinach, which I would have preferred. But even though the spinach scare is officially over, and the washed, bagged leaves are back on the shelves, I’m hesitant to forgive and forget. Castellane con spinaci e coli is not something I want to get too close to.
So I grabbed another leafy green, the underdog–kale, and did a good stripping of the leaves from their thick stalks. Then, I took the leftover stalks and sliced them finely on a diagonal (going on with the no-waste kick). Mangia.
Pasta with Kale and Chick Peas
3/4 box shaped pasta (I chose castellane, which looks somewhere in between large shells and rigatoni)
1/2 large bunch kale, chopped and thick stalks trimmed
1 can chick peas, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbspn olive oil
1 – 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbspn butter
1/2 cup grated parmiggiano
1/4 tspn red pepper flakes
Optional: fresh basil leaves
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Boil pasta in salted water. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil, and add kale and garlic. Stir for a minute or two, and add chick peas. Add red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste. Slowly add cream and bring to a boil. Stir in pasta, butter, optional fresh basil, and parmiggiano, and season with a little more salt and pepper. After a quick toss, serve immediately. Add more parmiggiano on top if desired.
(for 4-6 servings)
1/2 huge bunch of kale (at $1.99/bunch): $0.98
3/4 box pasta: $1.00
1 can chick peas: $0.79
1 cup heavy cream (at $1.89/pint): ≈ $0.65
1/2 cup grated parmiggiano: ≈ $0.50
Olive oil, butter, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper: ≈ $0.20
Five brownie points – it will taste really light and fresh, but all the cream will do its duty. Another way I often prepare this pasta (with pretty much any green veggie) is without the cream altogether, and maybe a little bit more olive oil. But at least with the cream you’ve got all four food groups.