Penne with Kale and Potatoes

  • ½ lb. kale
  • 2-3 Tbs. salt
  • 1 large yellow-fleshed potato, ¾” cubes
  • 14-16 oz. uncooked penne pasta
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3-4 Tbs. olive oil
  • fresh black pepper to taste

Clean the kale, removing tough ribs, and cut it into thin strips.  Bring 5-6 quarts of water to a rolling boil, add salt, potatoes and kale, cook for 5 minutes.  Add pasta and cook for ¾ of recommended time (should offer considerable resistance to the tooth).  Meanwhile, put the garlic in a large skillet and drizzle with 1 Tbs. olive oil over moderate heat.  When garlic begins to sizzle, remove from heat.  Drain pasta and vegetables, reserving 2 cups of the cooking water.  Add the pasta and vegetables to the garlic in the skillet and add 1 cup of the cooking water.  Cook over high heat, covered, until the pasta is done and surrounded by a creamy sauce.  Add more cooking water as needed.  Serve in bowls, topped with a drizzle of remaining olive oil and pepper.

Serves 8.

Adapted from Red, White and Greens by Faith Willinger.