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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Another one of my famous one-pan pasta creations....

For those of you who follow my blog, you saw that I recently made some kale soup.  I had no idea how much to buy, so I bought 2 huge bags.  Needless to say, I only used 3/4 of one bag for the soup!  Luckily it is hardier than spinach and has lasted in the fridge.  I have been trying to figure out how to use it up!

I got home from my daughter's game tonight and thought it was about time to make up one of my classic "one-pot pasta creations."  They are quick, easy, and it gives you a chance to use up odds and ends in your fridge!  Here's what I found:

1/2 jar roasted red peppers
1/2 jar marinated artichoke hearts
A whole bag of kale
1/2 a vidalia onion
fresh parsley

All I needed was a protein and some pasta.  I knew I had sweet Italian sausage in the freezer, so I grabbed that, and I found a box of my favorite curly pasta.  I could definitely see this coming together.  As usual, if you don't have sausage, feel free to substitute ground beef, turkey, or anything else you might have on hand.  The same goes for the peppers, artichoke hearts, etc. (although you should always have the artichokes in your cabinet...that flavor can't be replaced!)  You could throw in cooked carrots, zucchini, whatever you have on hand.  What makes this meal delicious is the flavors.

I begin by boiling some water to cook the pasta.  While I wait, I work on the kale.  I wash it and put it in a deep fry pan with a little water.  Bring the water to a boil, toss the kale in and cover for about 5 minutes.  Once it is wilted, turn off the heat and leave covered in the pan.  Once the pasta water is boiling, add about 1/2 a box of pasta.  When cooked, drain and add in with everything else.

They sell this brand at Star Market...really good and different shapes
Remove the casings from the sausages, break apart and cook.  When done, drain the fat and combine with the kale.  Next, cook up your onion and throw in about 3 cloves of garlic, chopped.  Once they are tender, add to your creation, along with the artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers you have cut up.   I think we have everything we need except for the pasta and a sauce.  

 My daughter asked that I not make a cream sauce or add any tomatoes, so that left only one alternative....a white wine, garlic and butter sauce.  That completes my flavors!  If you noticed, I didn't add any basil or oregano, so I needed some star flavor.

Here's the sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil
5 tbs butter
crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

All you do is heat the butter and olive oil.  Add the garlic and let it get a little golden.  Combine the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 5 minutes.  That's it!    Pour the sauce over your ingredients and add some Parmesan cheese.  If you are making a large one-pan pasta dinner, you might want to double the sauce.

The thing I love about using kale instead of spinach is the fact that it retains a little bit of texture, even after it has been wilted.  It doesn't turn mushy like spinach does.  The choice of sauces was perfect.  I think this took me about 1 hour to make from start to finish, and.....I have a clean refrigerator!

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