Fall has finally arrived and I’m happy as it conjures up many memories from my past, so many things come to mind: Halloween, Pumpkins, Apple Picking, Cracking Fires, Family Get-Togethers, Tables of Food. Every season brings together family and friends.
Below I put together a couple of recipes using Kale, as it has been finding its way into my home over the last few years. Now through November, I’ll be creating Rustic Recipes that will warm your heart and belly.
Kale is a popular vegetable and a member of the cabbage family. It is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts. There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple, and have either a smooth or curly shape. It didn’t take long for people to start using it in many ways:
Kale, White Bean, Garlic Soup
3 qts. Chicken broth
3 Cups finely chopped Kale
2 – 15oz cans Cannellini Beans, rinsed & drained
5 cloves garlic, minced (more if you love garlic!)
Handful parsley, rough chopped
Salt & Pepper, to season
Crusty Bread, serve with
Bring chicken broth to boil, add kale and allow to cook for 10 minutes, before adding garlic and beans (as kale is fibrous).
Once all ingredients are added, reduce heat, lightly cover so steam can vent.
After 10 minutes, taste and season if necessary.
Ladle into bowls, serve with bread & Enjoy!
1 – 1.5# Pasta (penne, mezza rigatoni, mostaccioli, ziti, etc.), cooked, rinsed, drained
½ Cup Onions, finely minced
3 tsps. Fresh garlic, minced (3 cloves)
2 Cups Kale, finely chopped
1# Sausage, ground
2 Jars sauce, choice
Dried Basil & Oregano (season sauce per liking)
2 – 3 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Parmesan Cheese, grated for garnish
Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
Sauté onions, garlic and kale in 3 T. olive oil. Stir and cook for 10 minutes.
Cook and break up sausage in larger stock pot with little olive oil. When pinkness is almost gone, add kale mixture, stir to combine.
Add 1 jar of sauce, stir to incorporate. Add 2nd jar of sauce, stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 350deg.
Add cooked pasta to large bowl, ladle sauce mixture over top and carefully fold in.
Add half sauced pasta to casserole dish(es).
Add 1 cup mozzarella cheese, add remaining pasta. Top with remaining cheese, spread evenly.
Cover casserole with nonstick foil (or grease foil with a little olive oil). Bake for 30 – 40 minutes to warm through (checking after 30 mins.).
Remove foil, garnish with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
Scoop out, plate and serve with a salad (if desired).
This casserole can be altered in many ways. Let your imaginations run wild with fresh & new ingredients.
Add mushrooms and make it a Florentine.
For the sausage, experiment with sweet or spicy Italian or country sausage or use a combo of each to jazz up the flavors.
At the local farmers markets and specialty stores, they make their own with sage, fennel, garlic and other tasty ingredients.
If you like to have a glass of wine with dinner, this dish pairs nicely with any red blends, pinot noir or a chilled chianti.