Mediterranean Pasta with Greens

I am really loving the warm weather, spring vegetables, and my Clean Food (vegan) cookbook! I was carb craving so decided to try out the recipe “Mediterranean Pasta with Greens” from the Spring section. My bad luck continues with my car being towed and ticketed today (I forgot it was Tuesday…street cleaning day on my block 😦 ) and my computer stopped working for 12 hours…so a nice comforting pasta dish was in store.  This absolutely hit the spot! It was quick, light, and tasty! Next time I would double the vegetables (a heavy on the pasta veggie ratio) and maybe try out , but overall the recipe was a success. I still don’t have my phone back yet (or a camera) so the pictures are not the same quality as usual, but I tried to capture the deliciousness! Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 pound penne or fusilli
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dried basil *may have to add more spices if going to double the veggies…just keep the basil to oregano ratio
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas *I used 1 can of chickpeas
2 cups canned diced tomatoes with their liquid *I used 1 28 oz can of organic diced tomatoes. I would double this next time
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup mirin
1 small bunch kale, chopped (I used purple kind fun 😉 )*I would double this
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Cook pasta according to directions on package. Rinse, drain and return to pot. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.

In large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft (about 3 mins). Add basil, oregano, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato paste and mirin. Sauté 5 minutes longer. Add kale, then cover and cook 3 minutes or until soft. Uncover and stir to combine all ingredients. Season with salt and lots of pepper and toss with pasta. (I had to add a little vegetable stock here because a little dry with all the pasta). Cook to heat through and serve.

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Rigatoni with Sausage and Kale

Rigatoni with sausage and kale
This recipe is another great way to utilize kale. This is originally a recipe I got from Weight Watchers which I have adapted for my own tastes. Prep time:  10 min.Cook time:  16 min.Serves: 4. Make sure you use a LARGE skillet because of volume of kale until it cooks down some. The changes are in bold italics:

Ingredients

2 cup(s) uncooked rigatoni
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste, for cooking pasta
8 oz uncooked turkey sausage(s), sweet or spicy variety (If you aren’t calorie conscious regular pork sausage makes it tastier)
4 cup(s) uncooked kale, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup(s) canned chicken broth   *I tended to need more like 3 cups of broth to make the sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper & 1/4 tsp table salt & a pinch of red pepper flakes (if like spice)
1 onion (chopped) & 3 cloves of garlic (minced or pressed)
1/2 cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

Instructions

  • Cook rigatoni in salted water according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, remove sausage from casing and cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up sausage as it cooks, about 3 minutes.
  • Push sausage to side of the pan and add the onion and garlic (and red pepper flakes if want some spice). Cook until tender.
  •  Add kale; cook, stirring frequently, until limp, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add broth (1 to 3 cups depending on how much sauce you like) to skillet and scrape up browned bits on bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon; season with salt and pepper. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; cook until kale is tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in rigatoni; heat through.
  • Sprinkle each serving with about 2 tablespoons of cheese before serving. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

Notes:

  • I have also made this with mushrooms to add a little bit of earthiness to the recipe. Throw in the mushrooms while after cooking the onion/garlic and before adding the kale.
  • You can make this dish vegetarian by swapping cannellini beans for the sausage and vegetable broth for the chicken broth
Weight Watchers Recipe: 1376 people rated this recipe Ratings (1376) and 8 PointsPlus Value