Cookbook:Kale and Garlic Pasta

Kale and Garlic Pasta
CategoryPasta recipes
Time1 hour

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Kale and garlic pasta is a dish of cooked greens with chili flakes and pasta. The blanching and long cooking of the greens with garlic reduces the bitterness, and this dish can therefore be good for those who do not like the flavor of raw greens. The kale can be replaced or supplemented with other similar greens (see variations below).




  1. Add butter and olive oil to a large frying pan. Heat over medium heat until the butter melts.
  2. Add the garlic and chili flakes to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is softened. If the garlic starts to brown, turn off the heat until time to add the kale.
  3. Cook the kale in a large pot of very salty boiling water for about 4 minutes. It will turn bright green. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the softened kale to the pan with the garlic. Try to leave as much water behind as possible.
  4. Cook the kale and garlic over medium heat, stirring, until most or all of the liquid evaporates. The greens should become very dark and soft. Add a splash of water or olive oil if they stick to the pan too much.
  5. Boil the pasta in the same salted water as the kale. When al dente, use tongs to transfer the pasta to the hot pan with the greens.
  6. Toss the pasta and greens together. If the pan is too small, transfer everything to a large bowl and continue tossing until the pasta is well-coated.
  7. Add the grated Parmesan, and continue tossing until it is melted and well-incorporated.
  8. Serve hot.


  • This dish does contain a fair amount of oil. Feel free to reduce it as desired, though it does carry a fair amount of flavor.
  • Cooking the garlic and chili flakes in the oil infuses the oil with their flavor and helps it permeate the entire dish.
  • This dish is meant to be garlicky, so do add more garlic if you can only find small heads.


  • Substitute collard, beet, or any other hardy greens for the kale.
  • Toss in some diced or cherry tomatoes along with the cheese at the end.
  • Adjust the amount of cheese as desired.
  • Omit the greens and reduce the oil for a simple garlic and Parmesan pasta dish.