Pasta with Kale and Carrots

Serves 4.

8 oz. dried short pasta (whole wheat or regular; we love farfalle)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other sautéing oil)
2 medium carrots
½ red onion (optional)
2 small or 1 large bunch kale (we've been using a locally grown black kale)
2 ounces freshly grated parmesan
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Bring a 4-quart pot of water to boil.

Wash kale, remove tough ends of stems, and roughly chop.

When water is boiling, salt generously and add pasta.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a 12-inch skillet. Peel carrots and slice about ⅛ inch thick. Chop onion if using. Add onions and carrots and cook until softened and just beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Add kale when the pasta is almost done and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

When pasta is al dente, reserve ½ cup cooking liquid and drain pasta.

Add pasta, half the cheese, and about half of the reserved pasta cooking liquid to the pan of vegetables. Toss over medium heat about 2 minutes. If it looks dry, add a bit more cooking water or extra virgin olive oil.

Serve immediately topped with remaining parmesan cheese.

Variation: This dish is also great with roasted tomatoes—not enough to make a sauce, but just enough to color the dish and add some extra brightness and flavor. Add them to the pan a couple minutes before adding the kale. (Of course, I recommend using tomatoes preserved from last summer, but I’m sure a jarred store-bought variety would also be good.)