Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Caramelized Onions

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pasta with kale


Kale is one of those super foods 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.

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 it one bit. So 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.

Kale is one of those super foods that everyone is talking about these days.

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.

Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Caramelized Onions


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)


Step 1

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Set – aside.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

LindySez: I served this with boneless skinless chicken breasts; but I think it would be good, just on its own.  It went beautifully with a Sangiovese and would work nicely with an earthy Pinot Noir as well.  If you wanted a white wine, I would go with a lightly oaked Chardonnay or a nice Pinot Grigio.



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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.
  • Calories
  • Fat
    11g (3g Sat, 6g Mono, 2g Poly)
  • Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Nutritional Information is provided as a guideline and may not be 100% accurate

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