This Veggie Orecchiette with Breadcrumbs will make you feel like you’re sitting on a patio overlooking the hills of Tuscany.
Guys, this veggie orecchiette is where it’s at.
Who knew kale could be so good?
These words actually came out of The Mr.’s mouth: “The kale in this is so good!”
What is HAPPENING?
This pasta is turning my husband into a kale lover.
In my mind, it’s practically magic.
Bon Appetit had a fabulous feature on pastas in the February edition of their magazine. Full of hearty ragus, creamy carbonaras, and smooth tomato sauces, I think I tore out nearly every page in the feature. But the first pasta on my list was a kale orrechiette with bread crumbs. It had a simple sauce of olive oil and butter, but what really got me was the pockets of breadcrumbs and kale tucked away in the pasta.
It was a must-make. And it should be for you too. Here’s why:
This pasta will make you feel like you’re sitting on a patio overlooking the hills of Tuscany.
It’ll make you feel like an Italian grandmother whipping out your top secret, handed-down-for-generations recipe.
It will make you want to touch your finger tips to your lips and yell, Delizioso!, at the top of your lungs.
It’ll make your husband love kale.
Some notes on the process:
The key to this dish is to build flavor with every step. After boiling the kale, use the same water to cook the pasta. After the pasta is cooked, reserve some of the liquid to coat the pasta in the end.
Also, I’m sure you’ve probably heard about the importance of salting your pasta water to help add flavor to your pastas. What I didn’t realize is that you’re supposed to add a lot more than just a couple shakes from the salt shaker. To really flavor your pasta, you need to add 2 Tablespoons to a full 1/4 cup of Kosher salt to your water! I added about 3 Tablespoons to this dish and while I haven’t tested it against other recipes, this dish was amazing, so I think I’m sticking with it.
Finally, use the best olive oil you can afford. I’m going to be honest, we buy olive oil in bulk–the cheap stuff–for all our daily sauteeing and cooking needs. But when a dish is finished with a drizzle of olive oil or you just want to coat a few salad greens, use the good stuff. You really will be able to taste the difference.
- 2 bunches of kale, stems trimmed
- 5 Tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 2-3 slices day old bread or 1 cup store bought bread crumbs
- 3 minced garlic cloves, divided
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large celery stalks, finely chopped
- 3 smal carrots, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2 cup water plus reserved pasta water
- 1 lb. orecchiette or mini shell pasta
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan