Pasta with kale, bacon and fontina.

Why, exactly, is kale such a celebrity these days? Seriously, I’d like to figure out how to track such things, because it strikes me as remarkable that this leafy green vegetable, used for centuries as the little decorative accent on salad bars and catering trays, is suddenly enjoying its moment. Kale is the Kardashian of the vegetable world. What gives?

Color me late to the kale party, but I’ve embraced its tastiness. I’ve done kale chips (wash, de-stem, baking sheet, drizzle of olive oil, 20 minutes in a 300-degree oven, boom!). Tonight, I’ll try the “massage” technique of kale prep (with your fingers, rub sliced kale with olive oil for a few minutes until it’s tender).

But this kale recipe, from the latest issue of Edible Ohio Valley magazine, really put my kale fandom over the top. Because there’s also bacon. And cheese. I nearly embarrassed myself by licking the plate when we made this for dinner.

Rob didn’t seem to mind.

(See here for more kale recipes from my friends at Edible Ohio Valley, including a remarkable take on the summer BLT: the BAK, which is bacon, apple and kale.)

pasta with kale, bacon and fontina recipe

(reprinted with permission from Edible Ohio Valley)

4 servings of dried taglietelle, pappardelle, fettuccine or other wide pasta
4 oz pancetta or bacon, diced small
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lb kale, stems removed and cut into thin, bite-sized strips
2 cups chicken stock
5 oz Fontina cheese, cut into small dice

Prepare the pasta in well-salted water according to package directions. Meanwhile, sauté the bacon or pancetta until just crisp; remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towel to drain. Add half the kale to the skillet, stirring to coat with the bacon drippings (add a bit of olive oil if you need to); add the garlic. Cook for a minute or two until the kale wilts, then add the rest of the kale and the chicken stock. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until the kale is tender. Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Return pasta to its cooking pot, then add the diced Fontina and stir to melt; add the kale and the bacon/pancetta and stir to combine, adding some reserved pasta cooking water to make a sauce as needed. Serve piping hot. Become a kale lover.

Recipe for pasta with kale, bacon and fontina

photo courtesy of Julie Kramer/Edible Ohio Valley magazine

other recipes you’ll enjoy:

pasta alla boscaiola
cheesy pasta with arugula and mushrooms

10 thoughts on “Pasta with kale, bacon and fontina.

  1. Making this tonight to watch the vote counts! Added two tbls of balasamic and 1/2 of fresh parmasean to it. Wish I had the pasta you recommended but we used large Penne.

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  4. I prepared this today. It is a tasty dish. I found I liked the leftovers (after an hour) even more.

    I wish I knew how to easily take this dish from very good to amazing. I think it would need something acidic or spicy.

    thank you!

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