August 12, 2014

Garlicky Kale Pasta Salad

This is really the most delicious pasta salad I have ever had.  We ate it all week and I didn't even complain.  

The magic of this simple sounding recipe is in the garlic-infused olive oil.  It just flavors everything so perfectly.  The little creases in the bowtie pasta catch all the little bits of garlic/pepper/pine nuts/cheese and it is so so good. We ate this all week with various things on the side (salmon being a standout) but even just tossing in some tuna, smoked salmon, shredded chicken, or even garbanzo beans would be a great way to fill out this dish.  One night I added in some chopped fresh basil and it was a nice way to add some freshness. 

This is a great, fulfilling pasta dish full of greens and super comforting, perfect for a summer night and so easily adaptable, mostly made from pantry items! You could really use any other greens you have on hand instead of kale--spinach, Swiss Chard, or arugula would go great.  When I tasted the pasta after tossing it with the garlic/oil/salt/pepper mix before adding any of the other stuff it was pretty dang good just like that. So use your imagination!

Garlicky Kale Pasta Salad
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman


  • 1 pound Bowtie Pasta (Farfalle)
  • 3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts (chopped if you want)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, more to taste
  • 2 smallish bunches Kale, finely sliced (I had about 6 cups once it was sliced up)
  • 6.5 oz can of sliced Black Olives, or fancier olives if you prefer
  • 4 ounces weight Parmesan Cheese, shaved
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    Cook pasta according to package directions including a healthy dose of salt. Drain, rinse with cold water, and add to a large bowl. Set aside. 

    While the pasta cooks, add pine nuts to a small skillet over low heat. Toast slowly over the course of 8-10 minutes, tossing regularly. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

    In a large skillet, heat olive oil and garlic over low heat so that the garlic slowly infuses the oil. When the oil starts to cause the garlic to sizzle, stir around so the garlic doesn't get too brown. When garlic starts to turn golden, add salt and pepper, stir, and set aside for 5 minutes. 

    After 5 minutes, pour the oil mixture (scraping the salt, pepper, and garlic) all over the bowtie pasta. Toss to combine and set aside.

    Set the same skillet (without cleaning it) over medium-high heat. Add the kale and cook for 5 minutes, or until partly wilted. 

    Add kale, olives, pine nuts, and lemon juice to the pasta and toss it all together. Check to make sure it's no longer warm, then add Parmesan shavings and toss. Taste for seasonings and add more salt, pepper, and lemon if needed. 

    Chill for at least 1 hours before serving.