Spaghetti with Tomato Braised Kale

serves 6


2 oz think sliced pancetta, diced (can use 2 tablespoons of olive oil if you don't want to use meat)

1 onion, diced

6 sun-dried tomatoes, minced

1 bunch kale, stems removes and sliced thin, leaves sliced into thin ribbons (lay the leaves on top of one another, roll them and then slice them crosswise)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup white wine

10 oz. tomato sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste (or you can use 2 cups tomato puree instead of the sauce and paste)

10 oz. dried spaghetti 

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


In a large saute pan, cook the pancetta over medium heat.  Cook until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crisp, approximately 10 minutes.  Add the onions, kale stems, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes and salt to the saute pan.  Cook together, stirring often until the onions and kale stems begin to soften, approximately 10 minutes more. Add the garlic and kale leaves and stir constantly until the leaves begin to wilt and the garlic is fragrant, 2 minutes.

Add the white wine and stir, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of  the pan.  Add the tomato sauce and paste (or puree) and bring to a boil.  Then turn the heat down to simmer and let cook partially covered for about 20 minutes.

While sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the spaghetti and boil for a little more than half the recommended cooking time as suggested on the package. Using tongs, transfer the pasta into the kale and tomato sauce, along with 1 cup of pasta water.  Add the cheese and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until the pasta is finished cooking, about 10 minutes. 

Top with additional cheese and serve.

 adapted from seriouseats.com

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