Pasta with Mushrooms and Kale

Circle B Kitchen

This recipe works best with short pastas such as campanelle, penne rigate or cellantani. Different pastas will absorb the sauce differently, so if you feel the need, add a little goat cheese into the pan if the sauce seems sparse. Play with the ingredients and make it your own... more heat from the pepper, or less, more lemony if you like, and substitute zucchini or spinach for the kale. Dried thyme can be substituted for the fresh, or leave it out altogether.

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

16 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 small shallot, minced

1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, zested, juice of 1/2 of the lemon

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt

2 cups thinly sliced kale

4 oz goat cheese (optional)

3/4 lb pasta (I used cellantani)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the pasta about one minute less than the package directions. Reserve a large cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta.

While the pasta cooks, Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium high heat and add the crushed red pepper and shallots. Saute for a couple of minutes until the shallots are softened and then add the minced garlic and mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms for about 5 minutes or until softened and cooked a bit. Stir in the goat cheese, if using.

Add the sliced kale to the pan, along with salt and pepper and continue to cook until the kale is just wilted.

Stir the cooked pasta into the pan along with 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice and the thyme leaves. Taste for salt and pepper and add the reserved pasta water and the goat cheese and stir to create a little sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve and then drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle the top with a little more grated parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.