By February, winter has really set in here in the North East!  This winter, in particular, has been especially cold and the recent nor’easters have meant many snow days cooped up inside.  The most common phrase I have heard lately is “I can’t wait for Spring!”  Besides the cold, another aspect of winter most of us become bored with quickly is the limited food choices.  Traditionally, we eat more wintery foods to keep our inner fires burning and or bodies fueled for the frigid temperatures.  These include long cooked meats, stews, casseroles, soups and most of our vegetables are those which can be stored in a cellar through the long winter months.  I happen to love these foods, especially root vegetables roasted until caramelized and earthy sweet, or a steaming bowl of butternut squash soup. Cold weather greens, like Kale and chard, are also staples in my winter kitchen and are so important to help balance out the abundance of roots with something which grows up from the earth.  There are so many ways to use these greens, particularly Kale.  I love Kale!  I love it sauteed with garlic or raw in a satisfying kale salad, it is even great pressed into juices or pureed into smoothies.  Not too long ago I was at a loss for last minute dinner ideas and tossed together this quick Spaghetti with Kale and it was soooo yummy!  I used a gluten free pasta and kept it vegan, but this would also be amazing with sausage or chopped fried pancetta tossed in with the kale and pasta and topped with fresh grated cheese.

 

Spaghetti w/ Garlicky  Kale and Truffle Oil

8 ounces Spaghetti style pasta1 large bunch Kale, stemmed and chopped
1 large clove Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
Truffle Oil
grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta and give a stir.  Heat the olive oil in a sautee pan over medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles in the pan.  Add the kale to the oil and sautee until soft, adding a little pasta water during cooking.  Toss in the garlic and add about 1/2 cup more of the pasta cooking water to make a saucy constancy, lower heat to sinner and taste for seasoning. Drain pasta, add it to the kale and toss to mix.  Serve onto plates or platter and drizzle with truffle oil.  Top with grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano and enjoy!

*If using sausage, sautee sliced or crumbled in pan before adding the kale.