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Rigatoni with Braised Kale (From Slow Food, 11-12/03)

side dishes
Joe George
Prep Time
40 minutes
Number of Servings
makes 4 servings
1 large bunch or 2 small bunches fresh kale
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and diced
2 ounces small diced ham
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons grated Romano cheese

Remove the stems from the kale and cut it into 2 inch pieces. Fill the sink with cold water, add the chopped kale and swish it around a little. Let the kale soak for a couple of minutes; any dirt should deposit itself to the bottom of the sink. Lift the kale from the water and drain it thoroughly.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and ham. Stir and cook the onions and ham for 3 or 4 minutes, or until they just begin to brown. Add the minced garlic and cook it for a couple of minutes, until it begins to brown too. Add the kale to the pan, and using a spoon or tongs stir it to coat it with the oil and other ingredients. Add the chicken broth, bring it to a boil, and then lower it to a slow simmer. Cover the pan with a lid, and cook the kale for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer the kale another few minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.

Boil the pasta and drain it thoroughly. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss it with the kale. Toss in a little cheese and serve extra at the table. This dish is delicious hot or cold as a leftover.