Tuscan kale with orecchiette pasta

orecchietti-kaleTuscan kale with orecchiette pasta: This beautiful dish of Tuscan kale with orecchiette pasta is still within your reach, even though, here at The Big Dream Factory, we have made no secret of not being able to make homemade orecchiette pasta. We have to wait for Anna to visit from Italy for a lesson in that particular technique. You could substitute our handmade pasta fiori and turn this recipe into something for a special occasion.

These tiny ear-shaped pasta are like small dishes that hold the sauce and ingredients perfectly.

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons premier extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 level teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 lb Tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves torn into 3 inch pieces – about 10 cups
  • 12 ounces orecchiette or our handmade pasta fiori
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1.2 cup Pecorino cheese, grated
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

orecchietti-kale

  • Over a medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan.
  • Add the onion and pepper flakes then cook until the onion has softened.
  • Add the sugar and stir in to coat the onion.
  • Add the vinegar and cook until the vinegar has reduced completely – about 1 minuted
  • Season and remove the onions from the pan.
  • In the empty pan add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and increase the heat to medium- high.
  • Add the kale in batches and cook until wilted and season.
  • Add the onions back to the pan with the kale and cook until heated through.
  • Meanwhile cook the oriecchiette in a large pan of lightly salted water until al dente.
  • Reserve 1 cup of the pasta waterand set it aside then drain the pasta.
  • Add the pasta back to the empty pan adding the kale, butter and Pecorino adding the water to create a little sauce.
  • Add the nutmeg and season to taste.
  • Serve drizzled with the premier olive oil and extra pepper flakes and Pecorino on the side.
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