Love kale or never had it, this recipe for Pasta with Kale, Bacon, and Caramelized Onions is one to try! Simple and delicious.
The story behind Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Caramelized Onions
Kale is one of those superfoods that everyone is talking about these days. Menus here in Sonoma County are full of various kale dishes, from the simplest salads to soups, to full-on entrees. Mix it in your smoothie, and you will transform yourself into a healthy beautiful being with its healthy doses of Vitamin A, K, C, B6 + other B vitamins. Along with Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, I mean the list seems to go on and on. Kale is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods.
I’ve had a small problem getting onto the kale wagon, as my first experience with it was in a creamed soup my paternal grandmother made when I was a child that I did not like one bit. This experience was made worse because it was back in the days when, if they made it, you would eat it. After all, there were starving children all over the world. My suggestion that they send this soup to one of them was met without humor. So each day, for each meal, my bowl of soup would be reheated and served to me. After day 2, I finally just held my nose, closed my eyes, and got it over with. So as you might imagine, I was hesitant to go down the kale road. But then I experienced some great recipes, created by some great chefs, so I figured I could tackle kale on my own time, and terms.
Everything is better with bacon, right? And I love the deep flavors of caramelized onions, so why not put them together? I did and this Pasta with Kale, Bacon, and Caramelized Onions recipe is what I came up with. Try it, it's downright yummy.
Really, I guarantee you will eat it all in one sitting.
I like it when a side dish has all the elements of a side dish. The bacon and caramelized onion make a sauce on the pasta completely unnecessary. And while I served it with a simple boneless skinless chicken breast I think it would be good, just on its own.
LindySez: For our wine suggestions, this recipe went beautifully with a Sangiovese and would work nicely with an earthy Pinot Noir as well. If you wanted white wine, I would go with a lightly oaked Chardonnay or a nice Pinot Grigio.
Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Caramelized Onions
- 8 ounces Cavatappi pasta or other short, tubular pasta
- 4 slices thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon coarsely diced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 8 – 10 ounces bagged Tuscan kale chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Freshly ground Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain reserving ½ cup pasta water. Set – aside.
- While the pasta cooks heat the oil in a large skillet, add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove and set aside.
- To the oil, (add or remove to make about 3 tablespoons) add the onion, lower the heat and caramelize the onion until deep brown, about 10 – 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove and set aside.
- Add the kale to the skillet and stir until it is well coated with the oil; add the garlic along with 1 cup water; stir; bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 – 6 minutes, or until tender, adding more water if necessary. When tender, add the pasta along with the bacon and onions, mix well. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, heat through, adding some of the pasta cooking liquid if it seems too dry. Spoon into warmed wide bowls and sprinkle with cheese, if desired.