Lately I have been seeing some great memories popping up on my Facebook feed from our trips to Italy. I do love that place and can’t wait to go back. One thing I did each time we returned was try to re-create different pasta dishes that we enjoyed.
I miss Italy so much, especially after seeing all the fun pics pop up in my feed. Each time we had pasta there, which was almost daily, one was as good as the next. The other night I grabbed one of my favorite Italian Cookbooks by Giada and started paging through and discovered one of my favorite dishes made with lots of Swiss Chard. I didn’t have Chard, but I did have lots of Kale on hand.
Also, if you haven’t noticed it’s been on sale..at least in my area. Two big bunches for only 4 dollars…organic too! So I subbed out the chard for kale and it worked great. I also used walnuts verses pine nuts since they are way less expensive.
It’s no secret I love veggies, so I always have a higher veggie-to-noodle ratio in my pasta dishes and again my husband doesn’t seem to mind even though he loves noodles! So every time you take a bite you get lots of greens and caramelized onions with each bite of noodle! You are so welcome!
My favorite part about this dish besides it contains lots of leafy greens, is the crunch of the walnuts and the sweetness of the caramelized onions. The truth of the matter is, Rob is more of a red sauce kind of guy but he absolutely loved this and went back for seconds.
I added some delicious Instant Pot Shredded chicken to boost the protein. Rob liked it had meat in…and I liked it was more balanced, but a bit higher on the carb ratio for my long run the next day. We both we’re pleasantly surprised. Can’t wait to hear what you think.
KALE, CRISPY WALNUTS, & CARAMELIZED ONIONS PASTA
- 1/2 cup crispy walnut halves, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces gluten free pasta or pasta of choice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for tossing with the pasta
- 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
- 2-3 large bunches kale (about 2 pounds), stems removed and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in their juices
- 2/3 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt , plus additional to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Optional shredded chicken
- If you do not have crispy walnuts, you can heat a small, dry skillet with a thick bottom over medium low. Once hot, add the walnuts, and toast them, stirring often, until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes (alternatively, you can toast them in a 300 degree F oven or toaster oven for 10 minutes, stirring twice through out). Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain, toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking, then set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil a large deep skillet over medium high. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the sliced onions and sauté until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the kale and sauté 4-5 minutes until it wilts. If it does not fit in the pot all at once, add by gradual handfuls, stir and allow it to wilt down, then add more. Once all of the kale is added and has soften a bit, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes in their juices, the wine, and the red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Add chicken if using. Simmer for about 5 minutes or so.
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and stir to coat. Serve warm, topped with toasted walnuts and Parmesan.