Trying to eat more vegetables? This pasta dish is packed with eight cups of kale, a pound of parsnips, and an onion. It's so good it doesn't even feel like it's healthy.
Pasta with Black Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Parsnips
adapted from Cooking Light - October 2010
Notes: According to the magazine, this recipe yields six servings, but each serving is only about 325 calories, which was not enough to make me feel satisfied by itself. Both Joe and I wanted seconds. If this is all you're making, and you are feeling pretty hungry, I would say it serves 4. Black kale is dark green and has leaves that are a little flatter and not as crinkly as regular kale, but if your store doesn't have it, regular kale is fine.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups (1/3-inch) diagonally cut parsnip (about 1 pound)
2 1/2 cups sliced onion (about 1 large)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 cups trimmed chopped black kale (for me that was about 2 bunches)
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta, whole wheat or regular
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add one tablespoon of the oil. When hot, add the parsnip to the pan. Cook until tender and slightly browned, about 12 minutes, stirring every now and then. Place into a large bowl, cover with foil and keep warm.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same pan, turning the heat down to medium-low. Add the onion now, and cook until tender and golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Set aside
Sprinkle the thyme and garlic over the onion and cook for a couple of minutes; it will become fragrant. Add the wine and cook for a few more minutes, or until the liquid has almost evaporated. Add the kale and broth and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the kale has wilted a bit and starts to become tender. Uncover and cook a few more minutes, or until the kale is very tender, stirring occasionally.
Add the drained pasta and parsnips to the kale mixture. Stir in a little of the cooking liquid (start with 1/4 cup and keep adding as needed to moisten), 1/4 cup Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon of each and go from there as needed). Cook for a minute or so to thoroughly heat everything. Top each serving with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan.